Glucose Metabolism in Brain Could Lead to New Treatment
By Kathleen Blanchard RN for EmaxHealth.com
Researchers at Albert Einstein School of Medicine have shown the brain plays an important role in regulating blood sugars in the body.The finding could mean new approaches for treating diabetes using drugs that target the brain instead of the pancreas to regulate glucose.
In 2005 the scientists used rodents to discover activation of potassium channels in the brain sends signals to the liver, which in turn leads to less production of glucose.
The finding couldn’t be replicated in dog studies, making the discovery appear irrelevant to humans. The 2005 finding was also contrary to current thinking that blood sugar is regulated only by the pancreas.
“The brain is the body’s only organ that needs a constant supply of glucose to survive, so it makes sense that it would have some say over how much glucose is produced,” said study leader Meredith Hawkins, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Global Diabetes Initiative at Einstein.