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Can You Get Brain Damage From Ketoacidosis?

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Neuroimaging Findings In Acute Pediatric Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a state of severe insulin deficiency and a serious complication in children with diabetes mellitus type 1. In a small number of children, DKA is complicated by injury of the central nervous system. These children have a significant mortality and high long-term neurological morbidity. Cerebral edema is the most common neuroimaging finding in children with DKA and may cause brain herniation. Ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke during the acute DKA episode is less common and accounts for approximately 10% of intracerebral complications of DKA. Here we present the neuroimaging findings of two children with DKA and brain injury. Familiarity with the spectrum of neuroimaging findings seen in pediatric DKA is important to allow early detection as well as initiation of therapy and, hence, prevent complications of the central nervous system. Continue reading >>

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  1. RCFletcher

    This is a general and interesting article which explains how ketosis works. the bit which alarmed me was about drinking if in ketosis. It also explains why people appear to get drunk quicker - it seems they're not drunk but their brains are short of fuel!
    If the moderators would like to move this post please do. I thought it was of such general interest that it should be here.
    Enjoy!
    http://www.sun.ac.za/med_physbio/med_physiology/dept/ketosis.htm
    DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL IF YOU ARE KETOTIC!
    Alcohol is a powerful inhibitor of gluconeogenesis. In fact, it forces part of the gluconeogenic metabolic process into reverse. This means that if all the glucose in the blood is being derived from gluconeogenesis then the consumption of alcohol will inevitably cause the blood glucose level to fall. Worse still, the alcohol also stops ketone body production, thus leaving the brain entirely without fuel.
    A person who is ketotic is 100% reliant on gluconeogenesis to maintain adequate levels of glucose in the blood. If, under these circumstances alcohol is taken, the person will become disorientated and might lose consciousness, not just from the alcohol, but from low blood sugar. Needless to say, this could be very dangerous, and even fatal.
    Alcohol does not have these effects if the glycogen stores in the liver are normal. Under these circumstances the blood glucose level in the blood is maintained by the breakdown of liver glycogen, a process that is not influenced by alcohol. If a person becomes confused under these circumstances it is due simply to the pharmacological effects of the alcohol!

  2. kimberlyw

    OK - but there's a difference between slamming down shots of vodka and having a glass or two of wine.
    I mean - I personally have never noticed a difference - but then I don't drink much.
    Thanks for the article :D
    ~Kimberly

  3. BigJ

    Ehh.. It just means I'm a cheaper drunk. Getting loaded is hard on the brain cells no matter what :)
    Thanks for the article though!

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