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Hypoglycemia May Hamper Memory in Type 1 Diabetics

Memory is better after euglycemia than hypoglycemia

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Night-time hypoglycemic episodes during sleep may interfere with memory function in patients with type 1 diabetes, researchers report in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

Bernd Schultes, M.D., of the Interdisciplinary Obesity Center in Rorschach, Switzerland, and colleagues compared recall of word pairs memorized the night before, as well as attention span and mood, in 16 type 1 diabetics versus 16 matched healthy participants.

The researchers found that participants remembered 1.5 more word pairs after euglycemia than after hypoglycemia, and two more word pairs than immediately prior to sleeping. Similar improvement did not happen for hypoglycemics.

The researchers also discovered that sleeping patients who underwent hypoglycemic episodes experienced altered moods, but their attention remained the same.

"Our findings indicate specific sensitivity of declarative memory consolidation during sleep to rather short episodes of mild hypoglycemia," the authors write. "This effect may disable memory processing in type 1 diabetic patients prone to nocturnal hypoglycemia episodes and underlines the importance of considering sleep as a critical period in the treatment of these patients."

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