Update in the CNS response to hypoglycemia

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    Hypoglycemia remains a major clinical issue in the management of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Research in basic science is only beginning to unravel the mechanisms that: 1) underpin the detection of hypoglycemia and initiation of a counterregulatory defense response; and 2) contribute to the development of defective counterregulation in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, particularly after prior exposure to repeated hypoglycemia. In animal studies, the central nervous system has emerged as key to these processes. However, bench-based research needs to be translated through studies in human subjects as a first step to the future development of clinical intervention. This Update reviews studies published in the last 2 yr that examined the central nervous system effects of hypoglycemia in human subjects, largely through neuroimaging techniques, and compares these data with those obtained from animal studies and the implications for future therapies. Based on these studies, it is increasingly clear that our understanding of how the brain responds and adapts to recurrent hypoglycemia remains very limited. Current therapies have provided little evidence that they can prevent severe hypoglycemia or improve hypoglycemia awareness in type 1 diabetes. There remains an urgent need to increase our understanding of how and why defective counterregulation develops in type 1 diabetes in order for novel therapeutic interventions to be developed and tested.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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