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Diabetologia. 2009 Feb;52(2):193-8. doi: 10.1007/s00125-008-1197-3. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Improvements in cognition, mood and behaviour following commencement of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion therapy in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study.

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  • 1Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.



Anecdotally, parents and teachers of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus report improvements in behaviour and learning following the commencement of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII). This study aimed to investigate changes in cognition, mood and behaviour following commencement of CSII in children with type 1 diabetes.


Children (n = 32) with type 1 diabetes aged 6-16 years and starting CSII at two Australian centres underwent behavioural, cognitive and glycaemic assessments prior to the commencement of CSII and 6-8 weeks after its start. A comprehensive cognitive test battery was administered, comprising measures of intelligence, attention, processing speed and executive skills. Behaviour and mood were assessed using the Behaviour Assessment System for Children--Second Edition. Continuous glucose monitoring was performed over a 72 h period and HbA(1c) was measured at both time-points.


After commencement of CSII, there were significant improvements in HbA(1c), a reduction in hyperglycaemia and blood glucose variation and an increase in normoglycaemia. Significant improvements were observed in perceptual reasoning, selective attention, divided attention, cognitive flexibility and working memory. Fewer mood-related symptoms were reported (parent, teacher and self-report) and fewer behavioural problems (parent reports)


In this uncontrolled pilot study, children with type 1 diabetes demonstrated significant improvements in measures of metabolic control, mood and behaviour and in some complex cognitive skills after commencing CSII therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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