Identifying the Brain Substrates of Hypoglycemia Unawareness in Type 1 Diabetes

2016-08-16 10:08:21 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to investigate how the brain responds to low blood glucose in non-diabetic individuals. The ultimate goal is to understand the brain substrates of hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition that can occur in patients with type1 diabetes undergoing insulin treatment.In the present study, the investigators focus on differences between two groups of non-diabetic subjects: one group who experienced two episodes of hypoglycemia the day prior to the study (and supposedly developed some level of unawareness to hypoglycemia), and one group who did not. In this study, a 3 tesla MRI scanner is used to acquire brain images. The imaging system is identical to the ones used in hospitals.


Hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose or low blood sugar, occurs when blood glucose drops below normal levels. When blood glucose starts to drop, the body reacts to this drop, trying to restore the blood glucose level. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are usually easily recognized. Hypoglycemia can be treated quickly and easily by eating or drinking a small amount of glucose-rich food. However some people with long history of diabetes can have an impaired response to hypoglycemia and therefore don't recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia, condition called hypoglycemia unawareness. If not treated hypoglycemia can get worse and cause confusion, clumsiness, fainting etc. Currently, it is not fully understood which brain areas are involved in sensing the drop of glucose levels. Absence of such knowledge is a critical barrier to the design and monitoring of effective intervention strategies to avoid and/or reverse hypoglycemia unawareness. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the brain responds to low blood glucose in non-diabetic individuals. Specific focus is given to differences between two groups of non-diabetic subjects: one group who experienced two episodes of hypoglycemia the day prior to the study (and therefore supposedly developed some level of unawareness to hypoglycemia), and one group who did not.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Basic Science




Insulin, Glucose, Potassium phosphate


University of Minnesota
United States


Not yet recruiting


University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-08-16T10:08:21-0400

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A syndrome of abnormally low BLOOD GLUCOSE level. Clinical hypoglycemia has diverse etiologies. Severe hypoglycemia eventually lead to glucose deprivation of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM resulting in HUNGER; SWEATING; PARESTHESIA; impaired mental function; SEIZURES; COMA; and even DEATH.

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A syndrome with excessively high INSULIN levels in the BLOOD. It may cause HYPOGLYCEMIA. Etiology of hyperinsulinism varies, including hypersecretion of a beta cell tumor (INSULINOMA); autoantibodies against insulin (INSULIN ANTIBODIES); defective insulin receptor (INSULIN RESISTANCE); or overuse of exogenous insulin or HYPOGLYCEMIC AGENTS.

A form of nontransient HYPOGLYCEMIA, unique to infancy, due to autosomal recessive mutations of the sulfonylurea receptor gene on CHROMOSOME 11. Defects in the sulfonylurea receptors (ATP-BINDING CASSETTE TRANSPORTERS) on the PANCREATIC BETA CELLS prevent negative feedback of GLUCOSE-regulated INSULIN release thus resulting in HYPERINSULINEMIA. Clinical phenotype includes SEIZURES; COMA; and often large BIRTH WEIGHT for GESTATIONAL AGE.

A 51-amino acid pancreatic hormone that plays a major role in the regulation of glucose metabolism, directly by suppressing endogenous glucose production (GLYCOGENOLYSIS; GLUCONEOGENESIS) and indirectly by suppressing GLUCAGON secretion and LIPOLYSIS. Native insulin is a globular protein comprised of a zinc-coordinated hexamer. Each insulin monomer containing two chains, A (21 residues) and B (30 residues), linked by two disulfide bonds. Insulin is used as a drug to control insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (DIABETES MELLITUS, TYPE 1).

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