Reduced gray matter brain volume and cortical thickness in adults with type 1 diabetes and neuropathy

Tine Maria Hansen, Janusiya Anajan Muthulingam, Birgitte Brock, Asbjørn Mohr Drewes, Anne Juhl, Henrik Vorum, Poul Erik Jakobsen, Jesper Karmisholt, Christina Brock, Jens Brøndum Frøkjær

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this study we investigated brain morphology in adults with diabetic neuropathy. We aimed to characterize gray matter volume (GMV) and cortical thickness, and to explore associations between whole brain morphology and clinical characteristics. 46 adults with type 1 diabetes and distal symmetric peripheral neuropathy (DSPN) and 28 healthy controls underwent magnetic resonance imaging scans. GMV and cortical thickness were estimated using voxel-/surface-based morphometry. Associations between total GMV and clinical characteristics were explored. Adults with DSPN had reduced total GMV compared with controls (627.4 ± 4.1 mL vs. 642.5 ± 5.2 mL, P = 0.026). GMV loss was more pronounced for participants with painful neuropathy compared with controls (619.1±8.9 mL vs. 642.4±5.2 mL, P = 0.026) and for those with proliferative vs. non-proliferative retinopathy (609.9 ± 6.8 mL vs. 636.0 ± 4.7 mL, P = 0.003). Characteristics such as severity of neuropathy and decreased parietal N-acetylaspartate/creatine metabolite concentration seem to be related to GMV loss in this cohort. Regional GMV loss was confined to bilateral thalamus/putamen/caudate, occipital and precentral regions, and decreased cortical thickness was identified in frontal areas. Since the observed total GMV loss influenced with clinical characteristics, brain imaging could be useful for supplementary characterization of diabetic neuropathy. The regional brain changes could suggest that some areas are more vulnerable in this cohort.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroscience Research
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Brain atrophy
  • Central nervous system
  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Peripheral nervous system


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