Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 55, Issue 12, pp 9075–9088 | Cite as

Impact of Hypoglycemia on Brain Metabolism During Diabetes

  • Ashish K. Rehni
  • Kunjan R. DaveEmail author


Diabetes is a metabolic disease afflicting millions of people worldwide. A substantial fraction of world’s total healthcare expenditure is spent on treating diabetes. Hypoglycemia is a serious consequence of anti-diabetic drug therapy, because it induces metabolic alterations in the brain. Metabolic alterations are one of the central mechanisms mediating hypoglycemia-related functional changes in the brain. Acute, chronic, and/or recurrent hypoglycemia modulate multiple metabolic pathways, and exposure to hypoglycemia increases consumption of alternate respiratory substrates such as ketone bodies, glycogen, and monocarboxylates in the brain. The aim of this review is to discuss hypoglycemia-induced metabolic alterations in the brain in glucose counterregulation, uptake, utilization and metabolism, cellular respiration, amino acid and lipid metabolism, and the significance of other sources of energy. The present review summarizes information on hypoglycemia-induced metabolic changes in the brain of diabetic and non-diabetic subjects and the manner in which they may affect brain function.


Neuron Glucose Metabolomics Glucose transporters Lipid metabolism Amino acid metabolism 



This study was supported by National Institutes of Health grant NS073779. We would like to thank Dr. Brant Watson for critical reading of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cerebral Vascular Disease Research LaboratoriesUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Neuroscience ProgramUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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