NeuroMolecular Medicine

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 658–668 | Cite as

Diabetes Mellitus and Disturbances in Brain Connectivity: A Bidirectional Relationship?

  • Rodrigo B. MansurEmail author
  • Danielle S. Cha
  • Hanna O. Woldeyohannes
  • Joanna K. Soczynska
  • Andre Zugman
  • Elisa Brietzke
  • Roger S. McIntyre
Original Paper


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with deficits across multiple cognitive domains. The observed impairments in cognitive function are hypothesized to be subserved by alterations in brain structure and function. Several lines of evidence indicate that alterations in glial integrity and function, as well as abnormal synchrony within brain circuits and associated networks, are observed in adults with DM. Microangiopathy and alterations in insulin homeostasis appear to be principal effector systems, although a unitary explanation subsuming the complex etiopathology of white matter in DM is unavailable. A contemporary model of disease pathophysiology for several mental disorders, including but not limited to mood disorders, posits abnormalities in the synchronization of cellular systems in circuits. The observation that similar abnormalities occur in diabetic populations provides the basis for hypothesizing the convergence of pathoetiological factors. Herein, we propose that abnormal structure, function and chemical composition as well as synchrony within and between circuits is an accompaniment of DM and is shared in common with several mental disorders.


Diabetes mellitus Cognition Functional connectivity Mental disorder Pathophysiology 



R.B.M. is the guarantor of this work and, as such, takes responsibility for the integrity of the perspective provided. R.B.M., D.S.C., H.O.W., J.K.S., A.Z., E.B. and R.S.M. researched data, wrote sections and reviewed/edited the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

There are no potential conflicts of interests relevant to this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodrigo B. Mansur
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Danielle S. Cha
    • 1
  • Hanna O. Woldeyohannes
    • 1
  • Joanna K. Soczynska
    • 1
  • Andre Zugman
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elisa Brietzke
    • 2
    • 3
  • Roger S. McIntyre
    • 1
  1. 1.Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit (MDPU), University Health NetworkUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Clinical Neuroscience (LINC), Department of PsychiatryFederal University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Program for Recognition and Intervention in Individuals in At-Risk Mental States (PRISMA), Department of PsychiatryFederal University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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