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Association Between Diabetes and Gray Matter Atrophy Patterns in a General Older Japanese Population: The Hisayama Study

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posted on 02.05.2022, 18:22 by Naoki Hirabayashi, Jun Hata, Yoshihiko Furuta, Tomoyuki Ohara, Mao Shibata, Yoichiro Hirakawa, Fumio Yamashita, Kazufumi Yoshihara, Takanari Kitazono, Nobuyuki Sudo, Toshiharu Ninomiya
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between diabetes mellitus and gray matter atrophy patterns in a general older Japanese population.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In 2012, a total of 1,189 community-dwelling Japanese aged ≥65 years underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Regional gray matter volumes (GMV) and intracranial volume (ICV) were measured by applying voxel-based morphometry (VBM) methods. The associations of diabetes and related parameters with the regional GMV/ICV were examined using an ANCOVA. The regional gray matter atrophy patterns in the subjects with diabetes or elevated fasting plasma glucose (FPG) or 2-hour postload glucose (2hPG) levels were investigated using VBM.

RESULTS: Diabetic subjects had significantly lower mean values of GMV/ICV in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, insula, deep gray matter structures, and cerebellum than non-diabetic subjects after adjusting for potential confounders. A longer duration of diabetes was also significantly associated with lower mean values of GMV/ICV in these brain regions. The multivariable-adjusted mean values of the temporal, insular, and deep GMV/ICV decreased significantly with elevating 2hPG levels, whereas higher FPG levels were not significantly associated with GMV/ICV of any brain regions. In the VBM analysis, diabetes was associated with gray matter atrophy in the bilateral superior temporal gyri, right middle temporal gyrus, left inferior temporal gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus, bilateral thalami, right caudate, and right cerebellum.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study suggests that a longer duration of diabetes and elevated 2hPG levels are significant risk factors for gray matter atrophy in various brain regions.


This study was supported in part by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP21H03200, JP19K07890, JP20K10503, JP20K11020, JP21K07522, JP21K11725, JP21K10448, JP18K15391, JP18K17925, and JP20K16524); by Health and Labour Sciences Research Grants of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (JPMH20FA1002); and by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (JP21dk0207053).