Current Diabetes Reports

, 19:3 | Cite as

Youth-Onset Type 2 Diabetes and the Developing Brain

  • Jacob M. RedelEmail author
  • Lawrence M. Dolan
  • Mark DiFrancesco
  • Jennifer Vannest
  • Amy S. Shah
Pediatric Type 2 and Monogenic Diabetes (O Pinhas-Hamiel, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pediatric Type 2 and Monogenic Diabetes


Purpose of Review

This review describes the literature evaluating the potential adverse effects of youth-onset type 2 diabetes on the developing brain. A summary of recently published articles and the current state of knowledge are covered succinctly in this manuscript.

Recent Findings

Current literature suggests both cognitive and brain structural differences are found in youth with type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown poorer scores in a number of neurocognitive domains, particularly in areas of executive functioning and memory. Additionally, imaging studies have found differences in brain gray matter volume, white matter volume, and microstructural integrity. These findings are largely consistent with the adult literature.


Youth with type 2 diabetes demonstrate lower cognitive scores and structural brain differences. Although causality has not yet been established, these findings are important because these individuals are still undergoing neurodevelopmental maturation.


Type 2 diabetes Youth-onset diabetes Cognitive function Brain Central nervous system 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob M. Redel
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lawrence M. Dolan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark DiFrancesco
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jennifer Vannest
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Amy S. Shah
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Division of EndocrinologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Pediatric Neuroimaging Research ConsortiumCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  5. 5.Division of NeurologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA

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