Patients with diabetes generally have an increased risk of developing serious health problems. According to current findings, people with type 1 diabetes later also show a three-fold increase in the probability of developing epilepsy. Type 1 diabetes mellitus is one of the most common autoimmune disorders in children, and in recent years the overall incidence rate of type 1 diabetes has increased steadily.
A diabetes disorder can have serious health effects. Scientists from the China Medical University Children's Hospital have now found in an investigation that people with type 1 diabetes later have a three-fold increase in the probability of developing epilepsy. The physicians published the results of their study in the journal "Diabetologia".
Incidence rate of children with type 1 diabetes increases by 3 percent annually
Type 1 diabetes mellitus is one of the most frequent autoimmune disorders in children, with an annual increase in the global incidence rate of around three percent, In recent decades, the incidence of type 1 diabetes has increased significantly, particularly among children and adolescents - especially among children under the age of five, the doctors say. Those affected have an increased risk of developing serious health problems and show an increased mortality, the experts explain. Type 1 diabetes could be a risk factor for the development of epilepsy in children, although the exact underlying mechanisms are not yet known, Dr. I-Ching Chou from the China Medical University Children's Hospital. The physician and his colleagues examined the relationship between type 1 diabetes and epilepsy in Taiwan.
study investigated nearly 2,600 patients with type 1 diabetes
The data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research database were used to perform retrospective analyzes, the researchers explain. The study investigated 2,568 patients with type 1 diabetes. Computer modeling has been used to assess the effects of type 1 diabetes on the risk of epilepsy. In patients with type 1 diabetes, the risk of developing epilepsy was significantly higher than in patients without type 1 diabetes, the experts say. Adjusted for potential confounders, the probability of epilepsy in the type 1 diabetes cohort was 2.84 times more common. This result is consistent with previous studies that had observed epilepsy in many autoimmune or inflammatory disorders, the medical experts explained. Epilepsy seems to be associated with the diseases or pro-inflammatory processes.
Severe under-sucking at a young age can cause abnormalities in the brain
Immune disorders, genetic factors and metabolic disorders are all possible causes for the relationship between type 1 diabetes and epilepsy. In particular, both hyperglycaemia and hypoglycemia occur frequently in the elderly with diabetes, the researchers say. These can alter the balance between the inhibition and excitation of neural networks and cause focal motor attacks, the scientists add. In addition, the researchers found that a younger age is associated with an increased risk of developing epilepsy. In previous studies it was already established that a severe hypoglycemia is a critical risk factor for abnormalities in the brain at a young age, the experts explain. Patients with type 1 diabetes therefore have an increased risk of developing epilepsy because the consequences of metabolic disorders in type 1 diabetes such as hyperglycaemia and hypoglycemia have a detrimental effect on the central nervous system. In addition, they can still be associated with significant long-term neurological effects, the physicians add. However, we need further research to understand the correlations and impacts better, the authors say.(as)