From British Columbia, Canada:
I'm 32 years old and have had Type 2 diabetes for 2 1/2 years now. I was wondering if brain cells die from low blood sugar, even when a person is conscious and coherent?
It's hard to know how to answer this one. It has been traditional to believe that we all lose brain cells with advancing age but I saw some press coverage last week of a paper that suggest this is untrue unless we have Alzheimer's disease.
In the context of hypoglycaemia, the jury is definitely out. While profound and prolonged hypoglycaemia can undoubtedly lead to brain cell death, there is, so far as I am aware, no evidence of cell loss from mild, or even moderate, hypoglycaemia. However, you will appreciate that this is not an area where research is particularly easy since, by definition, people who have had mild hypos are still around and unwilling to have their brains examined.
Original posting 23 Feb 97
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