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June 21, 2005

Type 2 Diabetes has Link to Mental Illness

Type 2 diabetes has been found to have a link to neuropsychiatric disorders. "As many as one in five children with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes may also have a neuropsychiatric disorder, according to a new study. The illnesses include depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, developmental delay, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. The research suggests that children with a neuropsychiatric disease may be at risk for type 2 diabetes, and vice versa" (Newswire Association, 2005).

The exact reason for this correlation is still under speculation, but numerous theories have come out. One theory hypothesizes that the psychiatric medications that these children were on caused their weight gain, and therefore contributed to the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Others think that diabetes occurs first and helps spur depression and other psychiatric illnesses. Or depression could lead children to become more sedentary and therefore cause obesity, leading to Type 2 diabetes. All of these possibilities are currently being looked at, and an answer to this question awaits in the nearby future.

"While this study examined previously diagnosed neuropsychiatric
disease, the true frequency of neuropsychiatric conditions in children
with type 2 diabetes may be considerably higher, say the researchers.
'For some children, diabetes may occur first, and help contribute to
depression and other NPDs,' Dr. Berkowitz added. 'Some researchers
suspect that both depression and diabetes have a common basis in the
neuroendocrine system, and one disease may help to stimulate the
other.'

Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes and still most common in adults, has been increasing sharply among children over the past decade, in parallel with growing numbers of overweight and obese children. Type 2 diabetes has especially been rising among African-American adolescents, who comprised a majority of the patients in the current study" (Newswire Association, 2005).

Type 2 diabetes has been a growing problem in the US and so this study may help us understand why there are a growing amount of children with psychiatric illnesses. Once the correlation is fully understood we can figure out a solution to this increasing problem.

For more information on depression and diabetes go to: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/depdiabetes.cfm

The source of this article was the PR Newswire Association LLC.

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