The relationship between fasting serum glucose and cerebral glucose metabolism in late-life depression and normal aging

Christopher Mark Marano, Clifford I. Workman, Christopher H. Lyman, Elisse Kramer, Carol R. Hermann, Yilong Ma, Vijay Dhawan, Thomas Chaly, David Eidelberg, Gwenn S. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Evidence exists for late-life depression (LLD) as both a prodrome of and risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). The underlying neurobiological mechanisms are poorly understood. Impaired peripheral glucose metabolism may explain the association between depression and AD given the connection between type 2 diabetes mellitus with both depression and AD. Positron emission tomography (PET) measures of cerebral glucose metabolism are sensitive to detecting changes in neural circuitry in LLD and AD. Fasting serum glucose (FSG) in non-diabetic young (YC; n=20) and elderly controls (EC; n=12) and LLD patients (n=16) was correlated with PET scans of cerebral glucose metabolism on a voxel-wise basis. The negative correlations were more extensive in EC versus YC and in LLD patients versus EC. Increased FSG correlated with decreased cerebral glucose metabolism in LLD patients to a greater extent than in EC in heteromodal association cortices involved in mood symptoms and cognitive deficits observed in LLD and dementia. Negative correlations in YC were observed in sensory and motor regions. Understanding the neurobiological consequences of diabetes and associated conditions will have substantial public health significance given that this is a modifiable risk factor for which prevention strategies could have an important impact on lowering dementia risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-90
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 30 2014


  • Fasting blood glucose
  • Insulin resistance
  • Late-life depression
  • Normal aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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