Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of certain neurological disorders, but we don’t understand exactly why this happens. Dr Prashant Srivastava believes it could be related to changes in the blood vessels. He will examine the effect type 2 diabetes has on blood vessels in the brain and try to identify a potentially target for new treatments in the future.
Background to research
There hasn’t been much research in the past into how type 2 diabetes affects the brain. We know that diabetes can increase your risk of developing neurological disorders, like Alzhiemer’s disease or dementia, but the reasons why are not particularly well understood. We know that high blood sugar levels can cause changes to blood vessels, and it’s thought this changes in blood vessels in the brain could cause the increase in neurological disease risk.
Dr Srivastava wants to understand how type 2 diabetes affects the blood vessels in the brain. He will look at blood vessels in the brains of mice with and without type 2 diabetes, and see how they are changed. Dr Srivastava will also look at the genetic changes to cells in the blood vessels as a result of type 2 diabetes.
Potential benefit to people with diabetes
There’s currently no treatments for blood vessel damage in the brain caused by diabetes. This research could help us understand more about how this damage occurs, and in the future, lead to new treatments that help reduce the risk of neurological disorders in people living with type 2 diabetes.