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Diabetic Seizures And Brain Damage

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is what every diabetic fears -- very low blood glucose. Since the brain requires glucose for fuel at every second, it's possible to induce coma, seizures,brain damage[1][2][3] and death by letting blood glucose drop too low. Because the brain is almost totally dependent on glucose to make use of oxygen[4], it is somewhat like having severe breathing problems. Though the causes and mechanisms are different, in both cases the brain does not have enough oxygen, and similar symptoms and problems can occur. It is caused by giving too much insulin for the body's current needs. The blood glucose level at which an animal (or person) is dangerously hypoglycemic is fuzzy, and depends on several factors.[5] The line is different for diabetics and non-diabetics, and differs between individuals and depending on exogenous insulin and what the individual is accustomed to. The most likely time for an acute hypoglycemia episode is when the insulin is working hardest, or at its peak; mild lows may cause lethargy and sleepiness[6]. An acute hypoglycemic episode can happen even if you are careful, since pets' insulin requirements sometimes change without warning. Pets and people can have hypoglycemic episodes because of increases to physical activity. What makes those with diabetes prone to hypoglycemia is that muscles require glucose for proper function. The more active muscles become, the more their need for glucose increases[7]. Conversely, there can also be hyperglycemic reactions from this; it depends on the individual/caregiver knowing him/herself and the pet's reactions. According to a 2000 JAVMA study, dogs receiving insulin injections only once daily at high doses[9] are more likely to have hypoglycemic episodes than those who receive insulin twice daily. The symptoms Continue reading >>

Side Effects Of Dog Seizures

Side Effects Of Dog Seizures

When your dog suffers from a seizure, things can get scary. Unless you have prior experience dealing with seizures in dogs, you will feel anxious, helpless and terrified about your dog’s health. That’s normal. But the health outlook for your dog after a seizure is manageable with the right care. Many factors play into whether a dog will have seizures in its lifetime. Not the least of which is genetic. There are also illness-related seizures – often in dogs who suffer from diabetes or blood illnesses – and there are seizures brought on by ingesting poison. Idiopathic Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures in dogs, and normally affects those who have it throughout their lifetimes. Whether your dog suffers a one-off event, or is diagnosed with Idiopathic Epilepsy and suffers from continuous seizures throughout his lifetime, dog seizures are very manageable with the right information – and the right attitude. What Does a Dog Seizure Look Like? When your dog is having a full seizure – often called a “grand mal” seizure – the signs are unmistakable. But your dog will experience different stages of a seizure, with different effects. Pre-seizure: In many cases, your dog will begin to exhibit warning signs that he is about to have a seizure. This stage is called the “aura.” During this period, you will notice odd behaviors from your dog, including anxiety, fear and confusion. Your dog may even lose control of his bowels. Remember, there is nothing you can do to stop a seizure from occurring, so it’s best to just ensure that your dog has space when the seizure happens. During the seizure: Seizures happen when abnormal electric pulses happen in one or more areas of your dog’s brain. The side effects of dog seizures are similar to what humans having Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Brain: Understand The Connection & Safeguard Your Brain

Diabetes And Your Brain: Understand The Connection & Safeguard Your Brain

Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels that result from the body’s inability to produce and/or use insulin. As can be imagined, these increased blood sugar levels have a harmful impact on the whole body, and the brain is no exception. The human brain is a complex organ, and hence is very sensitive to the harmful effects of high or blood sugar levels, since glucose and oxygen are the main fuel for brain function. Now diabetes is a double edged sword — both hyperglycemia (or high blood glucose that comes with poorly managed diabetes) as well as hypoglycemia (or low blood glucose that can be caused by diabetes treatment) can negatively impact the brain. For diabetics, chance of brain related complications is just one more reason to keep your diabetes under control. Effects of High Blood Glucose On The Brain High levels of blood glucose entering the brain cause damage to blood vessels over time. The brain’s white matter is the area where nerves are linked and communicate in order to carry out every day activities of life. Think of the white matter as the subway of the brain, providing the essential connectivity, and uniting different regions of the brain into networks that perform various mental operations. When excess blood sugar levels damage the small blood vessels of the brain, this connectivity is disrupted and the result is often a dramatic disturbance of normal mental function. Over time, this damage causes changes in thinking, known as vascular cognitive impairment or vascular dementia. Several scientific research studies have found that the longer you have diabetes, the more of a chance there is of cognitive impairment. A research done at Harvard Medical School, Boston found evidence that “Type 2 diabetes is associated with cortical and subcor Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Seizures: What Are They? What Are The Symptoms?

Diabetes And Seizures: What Are They? What Are The Symptoms?

Having a seizure is a very serious thing. It is dangerous for the person experiencing it, and it is also scary for those nearby. Seizures can be caused for several reasons. Some people have epilepsy, which is a disorder where seizures happen often. For those without epilepsy, they are often called “provoked seizures” because they were provoked, or brought on, by something reversible. Individuals with diabetes can experience these “provoked seizures” when their blood sugar drops too low. The following article explains the difference in these, how to prevent them, and how to care for someone that is having a diabetic seizure. The difference between epilepsy and seizures Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that happens because there is an electrical storm in the brain. People have recurrent seizures that involve loss of consciousness, convulsions, abnormal behavior, disruption of senses, or all of the above. Some have an “aura” before having a seizure and know when it is going to happen. Most causes of epilepsy are unknown, however they can be triggered by flickering light, loud noises, or physical stimulation. Treatment for this condition includes medications and sometimes diet changes. A “provoked seizure” happens because something abnormal is happening in the body. This can include low sodium, fever, alcohol, drugs, trauma, or low blood sugar. The same thing happens as with epilepsy, and there is unusual activity in the brain causing abnormal movements and behaviors. Unlike epilepsy though, where a seizure can happen for no reason, there is an actual cause for each one that occurs for “provoked seizure”. It is important to understand the cause of these so that preventative measures can be taken. There is no relationship between epilepsy and diabetes. One Continue reading >>

Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels Following Mild Brain Injury

Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels Following Mild Brain Injury

Some people may experience long-term symptoms after sustaining concussion from a head injury. 13 Aug 2014 Thus, the metabolic efficiency and continuous demands of the brain render it uniquely susceptible to fluctuations in glucose concentration in the body. , 1995). 1977 May;8(4):264-8. In patients with brain injury a correlation was found between the states of consciousness and the fasting (basal ) blood-sugar level. Jul 8, 2015 After two years, the diabetic patients had lower scores on cognitive tests compared to when they began, while people without diabetes showed little change on the tests. • Activity level. If this state is not restored completely, there will be an impaired extracellular glutamate clearing with slightly in‐ creased extracellular glutamate levels, slight astrocyte swelling and impaired glucose uptake. Frequently a combination of diet, exercise, and oral hypoglycemic drugs is effective in treating mild forms of diabetes. Sleep disturbance is a common sequela of brain injury. In general, the more time an infant's blood glucose levels were fluctuating— very high or very low— the more likely the infant was to experience Low blood glucose or hypoglycemia is one of the most common problems associated with insulin treatment, but it can also happen to people with diabetes taking by hypoglycemia, not only because of the increased risk for accidents, but because of the potential for brain damage related to repeated severe hypoglycemia. ! SGLT2 blood. of patients present with blood glucose > 11. Following the abrupt cessation of glucose supply to the neonate from the mother at birth, neonatal glucose concentration falls rapidly, reaching a It has been thought that repeated and/or severe hypoglycemia is closely associated with brain damage especially i Continue reading >>

$17.5m For Diabetic Denied Insulin In Jail, Causing Him Serious Brain Damage

$17.5m For Diabetic Denied Insulin In Jail, Causing Him Serious Brain Damage

A diabetic who suffered debilitating brain damage when cops deprived him of insulin won a $17.5 million judgment against the city yesterday. Jose Vargas, 43, was busted on a minor drug charge in September 2006 and tossed into a Brooklyn holding cell without his meds. Refused his needles and insulin for nearly 60 hours, the Type I diabetic suffered multiple seizures. It changed his life forever, a jury found. Now confined to a wheelchair and living in a nursing home, Vargas is barely aware that jurors found in his favor. "He's an insulin-dependent diabetic who went 58 hours without his medication, had multiple seizures, went into a coma for eight days and spent 30 days in the hospital," said Vargas' lawyer, Seth Harris. "He's permanently disabled." "It's outrageous," added Harris. "He repeatedly told the police he needed his insulin." The taxpayer-funded award will pay for Vargas' lifetime care in a nursing home. City Hall lawyers said they'll appeal the verdict. The jury found that cops violated the city's policy on providing medical care to prisoners. The arresting officers who testified at the trial said they didn't know Vargas was an insulin-dependent Type I diabetic. One wrote on a form that Vargas "can control his diabetes through diet" - usually a description for Type II diabetics. But his condition was more serious. "Why would a Type I diabetic say that?" said Harris. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Encephalopathy

Diabetic Encephalopathy

Diabetic encephalopathy is damage to the brain caused by diabetes. A relatively unknown complication, encephalopathy is becoming more widely recognized as more people are diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic encephalopathy presents itself both mentally and physically. It can induce an altered mental state, cognitive decline, changes in personality, memory lapses, or severe impairment like dementia. The complication can also cause tremors, lack of coordination, and even seizures. Diabetic encephalopathy is largely due to acute hypoglycemia (blood sugar levels are too low) or severe hyperglycemia (blood sugar levels are too high). The condition manifests itself differently between the two major types of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes Encephalopathy in those with type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. According to a 2011 study, those with type 2 diabetes were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s and 1.75 times more likely to develop other forms of dementia than healthy participants. This increased risk could be due to many different factors brought about from type 2 diabetes. It could be caused by the body’s resistance to insulin, which makes it difficult for the brain to break down amyloid, a protein that forms brain plaques. Brain plaques are abnormal clusters of this protein that block cell-to-cell signaling at the synapses—a symptom infamous for contributing to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Type 2 diabetic encephalopathy can also be generated from hyperglycemia or the conditions that commonly accompany type 2 diabetes like high blood pressure, obesity, or high cholesterol. Oxidative stress is another provoker of the complication. This stems from an imbalance between reactive oxyge Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Diabetic Seizures

What You Should Know About Diabetic Seizures

A diabetic seizure can be a life-threatening event. As such, the more you know about this subject in advance the more likely you will be to know exactly what to do if one does occur. Being well-informed and prepared may save a life! A diabetic seizure may result from excessively high blood sugar or excessively low blood sugar; as the best method is prevention, any person who has been diagnosed with high, low, or irregular levels of blood sugar should follow his or her physician’s recommendations for keeping the blood sugar level as stable and consistent as possible. Although some patients and even some doctors disagree, there is not really much difference between a diabetic seizure and other forms of seizures, such as those which are caused by epilepsy. While the symptoms are generally the same, there is one very significant difference– the blood sugar irregularities which can cause a diabetic seizure can also cause the diabetic patient to lapse into a coma. Some people take the subject of seizures lightly. This is a mistake! One reason why it is important to take a diabetic seizure seriously is that when a person is having a seizure he can accidentally injure himself. The two main forms of injury which often occur during seizures are injuries which can be either minor or major from the person falling or hitting his body against objects. The other common injury associated with seizures is that the person can bite his tongue; bleeding from this type of injury can be quite severe. These reasons alone are just cause to realize that diabetic seizures have the potential of being dangerous. However, the possibility of the patient lapsing into a diabetic coma must also be considered. The main reason for seeing a diabetic coma as a serious threat to the patient’s health a Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Diabetic Shock

Symptoms Of Diabetic Shock

Diabetic shock is a medical emergency in patients suffering from diabetes mellitus. It occurs when body contains too much insulin decreasing the blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia). It is also called insulin shock, severe hypoglycemia or simply, low blood sugar. The insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. The insulin decreases the blood glucose by moving the glucose into the cells. The endogenous insulin secretion is tightly regulated according to the blood glucose levels so that glucose levels neither increase nor decrease disproportionately. In diabetic individuals, this mechanism is disturbed and blood glucose levels rise. To normalize the increased blood glucose levels, insulin and other oral anti-diabetic medicines are given. In diabetic person, the blood glucose may decrease dramatically and diabetic shock may develop if the person: Takes too much insulin or other anti-diabetic medicines by mistake Misses the meal completely after taking insulin Exercises excessively Drinks too much alcohol without eating Symptoms of Diabetic Shock: The glucose is the necessary energy fuel for our brain and nervous system. When blood glucose levels decrease in diabetic shock, energy supply to the brain is decreased causing most of the symptoms that may be divided into mild, moderate or severe depending upon the glucose levels. The mild symptoms are as follows: Excessive sweating The patients with low blood sugar sweat profusely, even in cold temperatures. They may develop the tremors and shakiness within their whole body. Pallor These patients also become pale and cold. These are due to the effects of some blood hormones, catecholamine, that are released in response to low blood sugar. Hunger The low blood glucose levels naturally stimulate the hunger center in the brain ca Continue reading >>

Do Seizures Damage The Brain?

Do Seizures Damage The Brain?

A great deal of epilepsy research in humans and animals has focused on the question of whether seizures cause brain damage, existing underlying brain damage causes seizures, or a combination of both. Because there are so many different factors involved, including the specific epilepsy syndrome, other health conditions, the age of the child, the age at which epilepsy began, the treatment regimen, and the child’s particular characteristics, this is a difficult question to answer. The discussion over whether single, brief seizures cause brain damage continues. It is not clear whether single seizures can cause cell death or if it is the cumulative effect of many seizures that cause damage. We know that: While children who have multiple seizures over a long period of time are at risk for long-term effects, children who have only one or a few brief seizures in their lives usually do not have long-term consequences. In animal studies, seizures lasting more than 30 minutes and frequent, recurrent seizures appear to cause some brain cell death and may affect learning and memory. We don’t yet know how these animal studies translate to the care of children. If the child’s epilepsy is caused by underlying abnormalities of the brain, this problem or abnormality may also cause learning and behaviour problems. Learning problems and behaviour problems are discussed in more detail in the “At Home and At School” section of this site. Continue reading >>

How Type 1 Diabetes Affects The Brain

How Type 1 Diabetes Affects The Brain

The brain is an expensive organ to run: Most studies suggest that it requires up to 20 percent of the body’s total energy resources despite only taking up approximately 2 percent of its overall weight. Maintaining appropriate glucose levels—the proper amounts of the simple sugar that acts as the body’s main energy source—is key to keeping the brain running at its best. This can be difficult for people—especially children—who have type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D), an auto-immune disorder that stops the body from producing insulin, the hormone that helps to break down what we eat into that vital glucose fuel. New research reported through a national consortium called the Diabetes Research in Children Network suggest that this can affect brain development in myriad ways, some of which could offer new insights into our understanding of how the brain compensates, over time, for chronic or degenerative disease. The effects of hyper- and hypoglycemia Last year, my daughter, Ella, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 10. As we learned more about the disease, we were cautioned to look out for both hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose levels, as well as hypoglycemia, low blood glucose levels. High blood sugars result in symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, headache, and fatigue. If high glucose levels continue for a long time, there could be long-term damage to the kidneys, eyes, and nerves. Low blood sugars, on the other hand, can lead to shakiness, anxiety, confusion, dizziness, and muscle weakness—and if not treated immediately, seizures or unconsciousness. While there’s no “perfect” number for glucose levels, it is recommended that most children stay between 70 and 180 mg/dL, checking their blood sugar 4-6 times per day with a glucometer, Continue reading >>

Older Diabetics May Be Pushing Blood Sugar Too Low

Older Diabetics May Be Pushing Blood Sugar Too Low

(Reuters Health) – Older diabetics may sometimes do too good a job at keeping their blood sugar down, according to a new study. Regardless of age, people with diabetes are taught to keep their blood sugar below certain target levels. But many diabetics over 65 who have other health concerns may be at risk for pushing it too low, according to a new study. Particularly for older adults with multiple serious illnesses and functional limitations, the risks of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, may outweigh the benefits of tight blood sugar control, the authors write. “Older people are more susceptible to hypoglycemia,” said lead author Dr. Kasia J. Lipska of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. “As people age, their kidney function deteriorates and drugs (like insulin) may not be eliminated from the body as efficiently,” which can lead to low blood sugar, she told Reuters Health by email. Often, people with low blood sugar don’t realize they have it. Symptoms can include double or blurry vision, rapid heartbeat, headache, hunger, shaking or trembling, sweating, tiredness or weakness or feeling faint, trouble sleeping, unclear thinking, and other problems. Severe low blood sugar can cause seizures and brain damage. Intense diabetes treatment, which the study showed many older people are doing, increases the risk for hypoglycemia two to three fold, Lipska said. Her team used data on 1,288 diabetics age 65 or older, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2001 through 2010. Based on their ability to complete activities of daily life, about half of the participants were generally healthy, 28 percent had “complex or intermediate” health and 21 percent had “poor” health. To see how tightly these patients were controllin Continue reading >>

Recurrent Moderate Hypoglycemia Ameliorates Brain Damage And Cognitive Dysfunction Induced By Severe Hypoglycemia

Recurrent Moderate Hypoglycemia Ameliorates Brain Damage And Cognitive Dysfunction Induced By Severe Hypoglycemia

OBJECTIVE Although intensive glycemic control achieved with insulin therapy increases the incidence of both moderate and severe hypoglycemia, clinical reports of cognitive impairment due to severe hypoglycemia have been highly variable. It was hypothesized that recurrent moderate hypoglycemia preconditions the brain and protects against damage caused by severe hypoglycemia. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Nine-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to either 3 consecutive days of recurrent moderate (25–40 mg/dl) hypoglycemia (RH) or saline injections. On the fourth day, rats were subjected to a hyperinsulinemic (0.2 units · kg−1 · min−1) severe hypoglycemic (∼11 mg/dl) clamp for 60 or 90 min. Neuronal damage was subsequently assessed by hematoxylin-eosin and Fluoro-Jade B staining. The functional significance of severe hypoglycemia–induced brain damage was evaluated by motor and cognitive testing. RESULTS Severe hypoglycemia induced brain damage and striking deficits in spatial learning and memory. Rats subjected to recurrent moderate hypoglycemia had 62–74% less brain cell death and were protected from most of these cognitive disturbances. CONCLUSIONS Antecedent recurrent moderate hypoglycemia preconditioned the brain and markedly limited both the extent of severe hypoglycemia–induced neuronal damage and associated cognitive impairment. In conclusion, changes brought about by recurrent moderate hypoglycemia can be viewed, paradoxically, as providing a beneficial adaptive response in that there is mitigation against severe hypoglycemia–induced brain damage and cognitive dysfunction. Hypoglycemia is the major obstacle in achieving tight glycemic control in people with diabetes (1). Intensive insulin therapy increases the risk of iatrogenic hypogly Continue reading >>

Repeated Hypoglycemia Is Not Directly Linked To Brain Damage

Repeated Hypoglycemia Is Not Directly Linked To Brain Damage

Contrary to popular belief, repeated low blood sugar episodes do not appear to cause brain damage. That’s according to Dr. Alan M. Jacobson, a psychiatrist who is one of the world’s foremost experts on the relationship between diabetes and cognitive function. Jacobson is Director of the Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiometabolic Research Center at Winthrop-University Hospital and served as Director, Psychiatric Services at the Joslin Diabetes Center for more than 30 years. “We studied this intently and what we found was that hypoglycemia did not appear to confer an additional risk to reduced brain function,” Jacobson says. Jacobson was involved in the most comprehensive long-term study of whether hypoglycemia adversely impacts brain function. As part of a team Jacobson studied the effects of improved blood sugar control on type 1 diabetic patients who were participants in The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial—or DCCT. The DCCT tracked 1,441 type 1 diabetic patients ages 13 to 39 for six years to determine whether tighter blood sugar near the normal, non-diabetic range helped them avoid complications from diabetes, such as retinopathy and kidney disease. The landmark study demonstrated definitively that improved blood sugar control leads to a reduction in the incidence of diabetic complications. It also revealed something else. “Tightening control also leads to an increase in hypoglycemic events,” Jacobson says. “We found a three-fold increase in the number of serious hypoglycemic event in the subjects who had improved blood sugar control.” This increase in low blood sugar episodes prompted DCCT researchers to gauge whether their number and severity impacted cognitive function. The subjects performed intensive neuropsychological tests over the course Continue reading >>

Low Blood Glucose Doesn’t Affect Long-term Brain Function

Low Blood Glucose Doesn’t Affect Long-term Brain Function

A study published in the May 3 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine shows that episodes of severe hypoglycemia (very low blood glucose) do not seem to have any lasting effects on cognitive function in teenagers and adults with Type 1 diabetes. The study, which was led by researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center and conducted through 28 additional medical centers around the United States, involved 1,144 people with Type 1 diabetes. These people had all been participants in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), a landmark study that began in the 1980’s and proved that intensive, or “tight,” blood glucose control lowers a person’s risk of developing diabetes complications, such as retinopathy (eye disease), nephropathy (kidney disease), and neuropathy (nerve disease). The DCCT participants in the intensive therapy group achieved HbA1c levels (a measure of blood glucose control over time) nearly 2 percentage points lower than those in the conventional therapy group and developed fewer complications. However, they were also three times as likely to experience episodes of severe hypoglycemia, which can lead to coma or seizure. Because severe hypoglycemia can cause nerve cell death, experts wondered whether severe hypoglycemic events might have any long-term effects on people’s cognitive function. To answer this question, researchers tested the cognitive abilities of DCCT participants from both the intensive and conventional therapy groups at the beginning of the DCCT and an average of 18 years later. They also recorded incidences of hypoglycemic coma or seizure in the participants over that period of time. After adjusting for age, sex, education, length of follow-up, and number of cognitive tests taken through the years, the researchers found Continue reading >>

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