Altered Hippocampal White Matter Connectivity in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Memory Decrements

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Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with cognitive decrements. Specifically affected cognitive domains are learning and memory, for which the hippocampus plays an essential role. The pathophysiological mechanism remains to be revealed. The present study examined whether local hippocampal microstructure and white matter connectivity are related to type 2 diabetes and memory performance. Forty participants with type 2 diabetes and 38 participants without type 2 diabetes underwent detailed cognitive assessment and 3-Tesla diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Diffusion MRI was performed to assess microstructure (fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity) and white matter connectivity (tract volume) of the hippocampus, which were compared between participants with and without type 2 diabetes. No differences in hippocampal microstructure were observed. Participants with type 2 diabetes had fewer white matter connections between the hippocampus and frontal lobe (P=0.017). Participants who scored lower on memory function, regardless of type 2 diabetes, had fewer white matter connections between the hippocampus and temporal lobe (P=0.017). Taken together, type 2 diabetes and memory decrements appear to be associated with altered hippocampal white matter connectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12366
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • cognition
  • memory
  • diffusion
  • white matter connectivity
  • hippocampus

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