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Diabetic encephalopathy: the role of oxidative stress and inflammation in type 2 diabetes

Authors Soares, Nunes S, Reis F, Pereira F

Received 4 May 2012

Accepted for publication 12 July 2012

Published 19 September 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 75—85

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJICMR.S29322

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Edna Soares, Sara Nunes, Flávio Reis, Frederico C Pereira

Laboratory of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics/IBILI, Coimbra University, Coimbra, Portugal

Abstract: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a heterogeneous metabolic disorder associated with an increased risk for central nervous system disorders. Diabetic encephalopathy is a relatively unknown diabetes complication, characterized by electrophysiological, structural, neurochemical, and degenerative neuronal changes that lead to cognitive functioning limitations. Besides chronic hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, diabetic encephalopathy represents the most relevant risk factor for cognitive dysfunction, increased incidence of dementia, and consequently Alzheimer´s disease (AD), also referred to as “type 3 diabetes.” There has been recent evidence suggesting that oxidative stress and inflammation are key pathogenic factors for T2DM, cognitive decline, and neurodegenerative diseases, including AD. Thus in this review we aim to ascertain brain mechanisms underlying the link between T2DM and AD with a focus on oxidative stress and inflammatory processes. We also intend to review the main antioxidant/anti-inflammatory therapeutic strategies targeting the brain and contributing to halt the progression from diabetic encephalopathy into AD.

Keywords: diabetic encephalopathy, oxidative stress, inflammation

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