Altered Spontaneous Brain Activity in Type 2 Diabetes: A Resting-State Functional MRI Study

  1. Gao-Jun Teng1
  1. 1Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular and Functional Imaging, Department of Radiology, Zhongda Hospital, Medical School of Southeast University, Nanjing, China
  2. 2Medical School of Southeast University, Nanjing, China
  3. 3Department of Radiology, Yuhuangding Hospital, Yantai, China
  1. Corresponding author: Gao-Jun Teng, gjteng{at}


Previous research has shown that type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. Patients with impaired cognition often show decreased spontaneous brain activity on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). This study used rs-fMRI to investigate changes in spontaneous brain activity among patients with T2DM and to determine the relationship of these changes with cognitive impairment. T2DM patients (n = 29) and age-, sex-, and education-matched healthy control subjects (n = 27) were included in this study. Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and regional homogeneity (ReHo) values were calculated to represent spontaneous brain activity. Brain volume and cognition were also evaluated among these participants. Compared with healthy control subjects, patients with T2DM had significantly decreased ALFF and ReHo values in the occipital lobe and postcentral gyrus. Patients performed worse on several cognitive tests; this impaired cognitive performance was correlated with decreased activity in the cuneus and lingual gyrus in the occipital lobe. Brain volume did not differ between the two groups. The abnormalities of spontaneous brain activity reflected by ALFF and ReHo measurements in the absence of structural changes in T2DM patients may provide insights into the neurological pathophysiology underlying diabetes-associated cognitive decline.


  • Received April 2, 2013.
  • Accepted September 18, 2013.

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  1. Diabetes vol. 63 no. 2 749-760
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