Immune abnormalities, brain lesions, genetic factors and metabolic abnormalities are all potential causes for the link between Type I diabetes and epilepsy
People with Type I diabetes have a three-times increased risk of developing epilepsy later in life, according to a new study. Type I diabetes mellitus is one of the most common autoimmune disorders in children, with a three per cent annual increase in the global incidence rate since the 1980s.
In recent decades, the incidence of Type I diabetes has increased in children and adolescents, particularly those aged younger than five years. Patients with diabetes are at increased risk of severe health problems and mortality.
For the study, researchers from China Medical University Cildren’s Hospital in Taiwan evaluated the relationship between Type I diabetes and epilepsy.
Data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database was used to conduct retrospective analyses. The study cohort contained 2,568 patients with Type I diabetes, each of whom was frequency-matched by sex, urbanisation of residence area and index year with ten control patients without Type 1 diabetes.
Immune abnormalities, brain lesions, genetic factors and metabolic abnormalities are all potential causes for the link between Type I diabetes and epilepsy, they said.
“In particular, both hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia commonly occur in elderly people with diabetes, and can alter the balance between the inhibition and excitation of neuronal networks and cause focal motor seizures,” researchers said.
“In addition, we found that younger age was associated with an increased risk of developing epilepsy,” they said.
According to researchers, the results could provide evidence to facilitate the prognosis of children with Type I diabetes.