Adhesion Molecules, Altered Vasoreactivity, and Brain Atrophy in Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Peter Novak, MD, PHD5
  1. 1Division of Gerontology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  3. 3Department of Radiology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  4. 4Department of Biostatistics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
  5. 5Department of Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts
  1. Corresponding author: Vera Novak, vnovak{at}


OBJECTIVE To investigate the effects of inflammation on perfusion regulation and brain volumes in type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 147 subjects (71 diabetic and 76 nondiabetic, aged 65.2 ± 8 years) were studied using 3T anatomical and continuous arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging. Analysis focused on the relationship between serum soluble vascular and intercellular adhesion molecules (sVCAM and sICAM, respectively, both markers of endothelial integrity), regional vasoreactivity, and tissue volumes.

RESULTS Diabetic subjects had greater vasoconstriction reactivity, more atrophy, depression, and slower walking. Adhesion molecules were specifically related to gray matter atrophy (P = 0.04) and altered vasoreactivity (P = 0.03) in the diabetic and control groups. Regionally, sVCAM and sICAM were linked to exaggerated vasoconstriction, blunted vasodilatation, and increased cortical atrophy in the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes (P = 0.04–0.003). sICAM correlated with worse functionality.

CONCLUSIONS Diabetes is associated with cortical atrophy, vasoconstriction, and worse performance. Adhesion molecules, as markers of vascular health, have been indicated to contribute to altered vasoregulation and atrophy.

  • Received May 24, 2011.
  • Accepted August 17, 2011.

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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 34 no. 11 2438-2441
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