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.
the need for additional screening practices for children
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.