A study of 237 children with type 2 diabetes done at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and published in the June issue of Pediatric Diabetes, strongly suggests a link between that disease and previously diagnosed neuropsychiatric disease (NPD).
The study showed that 19% (46 of 237) of the children with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes had previously been diagnosed with NPD. Those disorders included depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental delay, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
The researchers also believe the link to work the other way around so that children with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes may be at greater risk to develop NPD.
Thus, the findings suggest the need for additional screening practices for children with either condition. Dr. Lorraine E. Katz, a pediatric endocrinologist who led the study, stated: “Obese children with neuropsychiatric conditions should be screened for diabetes, and children with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes should be screened for psychiatric conditions.”
The results of this study have added significance given the dramatic rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes among children. African American adolescents are particularly vulnerable to both conditions. Children with type 2 diabetes require major lifestyle changes. The study indicates additional challenges may be present if NPD is also present.