Diabetes causes more damage in the brain than previously thought, according to Sheffield researchers.
A study using MRI scans found the condition can cause serious damage to areas of the brain called ‘grey matter’ – a key part of the nervous system, associated with sensation.
Diabetic nerve damage is a common complication of the illness, causing pain in the feet and legs.
But previous studies suggested the impact of the disease on the brain is limited.
Patient Tracey Smythe, aged 45, from Parson Cross, suffers from diabetic nerve damage, which she described as a ‘deep-rooted pain’.
“I just wish there was more doctors could do to help people like me,” she said.
“Better understanding of the disease through research is vital.”
The study was carried out by Dr Dinesh Selvarajah from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, along with a team from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Sheffield University.