With 29.1 million affected, diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Although diabetes occurs equally in males and females, females demonstrate a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease as a complication. Part of this increased risk might be caused by poor treatment options for females. In particular, fasting blood sugar levels (a common diagnostic and management parameter) is more reflexive of diabetes in males than females. Women present with poorer blood sugar control and require higher insulin doses than males. It seems clear that the development of diabetes in the female population may be slightly different than the typical male. Recently, a new treatment for diabetes focusing on the brain has developed. Not surprisingly, females use circuits within their brain which are vulnerable to alternations by glucose to regulate their organ systems more predominately than males. Therefore, we suggest these poor cardiovascular outcomes in diabetic women are because their blood sugar levels are controlled by this brain mediated mechanism more than males. Indeed, our current preliminary data here suggest that the changes in the brain after diabetes are more prominent in females. Unfortunately, we currently have no treatments for these brain-related problems in diabetics. Our proposal will identify potential treatment targets involving the brain that might be better for females. Investigations into these differences are an essential step in our understanding of women's health and diabetes in general.
|Program type||Scientist Development Grant|
|Effective start/end date||01/01/2016 → 06/30/2020|