Health Watch - Diabetes: A Link to Mood

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about research into treating and maybe even curing diabetes. Previously, we talked about a possible link between diabetes and the brain. There may also be a link between diabetes and your moods.

Patients who take anti-psychotic medications that affect the brain chemical serotonin sometimes have metabolic problems and may even develop diabetes. What does this chemical, which regulates emotions, mood and sleep, have to do with diabetes? Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that serotonin may have anti-diabetic properties. The researchers found that blocking serotonin receptors in laboratory mice led to insulin resistance, and reactivating the receptors only in particular brain cells ended the insulin resistance.

Dr. Joel Elmquist, a UT Southwestern pharmacologist, says these findings should lead to a better understanding of blood glucose control in humans. More research is needed into the possible effects of blocking serotonin receptors

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February 2011


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