Differences in Serotonin Brain Activity in Diabetic Children

May be an indicator of anxiety or depression

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Children with type 1 diabetes show decreased brain serotonergic activity as measured by intensity-dependent auditory-evoked potentials (IDAEPs), which may possibly be related to anxiety or depression, Mexican researchers report in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

Gabriel Manjarrez, M.D., Ph.D., from the Mexican Institute of Social Security in Mexico City, and colleagues studied 11 children with type 1 diabetes with a mean age of 10.9 years and a mean body mass index of 17.7. Twelve non-diabetic children of similar age and body mass index were used as controls. The researchers measured the plasma free fraction of L-tryptophan and IDAEPs at four intensities.

According to the study, the plasma free fraction of L-tryptophan was reduced in the diabetic patients. There was also an increase in the latencies of N1 and P2 of the IDAEP at all intensities and the amplitude/stimulus intensity function slope of the N1/P2 component significantly increased in the children with diabetes.

"We propose the use of the IDAEP (N1/P2 component) as a noninvasive electrophysiological indicator of changes in brain serotonin synthesis and activity in patients with type 1 diabetes," the authors write. "These changes may be related to psychoemotional manifestations observed in diabetic children such as anxiety and depression."

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