A treatment for extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) called deep brain stimulation (DBS) could benefit those with type 2 diabetes.
What is type 2?
Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes, with 1.5 million Americans diagnosed each year. This type of diabetes occurs when your blood sugar is too high because your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin well.
Symptoms of type 2
Early symptoms of diabetes include urinating often, being more thirsty and hungry than usual, being very tired, having blurry vision, and having cuts and bruises that are slow to heal.
Type 2 diabetes most often appears in middle age or older, although children can be diagnosed with type 2 as well.
Deep brain stimulation and type 2
The effect of DBS on type 2 was a discovery that was made by accident when researchers found that a man who underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS) for his OCD ended up needing 80% less insulin than before. A study by researchers in the Netherlands further corroborates the finding.
The boost in dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is involved in motivation and pleasure, that occurs in DBS both alleviates OCD symptoms and helps the body process sugar better.
Applications of deep brain stimulation for the future
As far as treating diabetes, using deep brain stimulation might be far fetched for now. Hopefully less invasive means can be found to target dopamine and control glucose, especially for those in the early stages of diabetes.
There have been several studies showing the connection between diabetes and anxiety disorders, so there could be more to the diabetes-OCD connection than we think. In addition, the research opens up new possibilities in finding out more about the relationship between the brain and metabolism.