People with type 1 diabetes are three times more prone to the risk of developing epilepsy later in life, finds a new research.


The findings revealed that in patients with type 1 diabetes, the risk of developing epilepsy, a neurological disorder, was significantly higher than that in patients without the disease.

Also, an excess of glucose in the bloodstream known as hyperglycaemia and deficiency of glucose in the bloodstream, known as hypoglycaemia, can alter the balance between the inhibition and excitation of neuronal networks and cause focal motor seizures.

Immune abnormalities, brain lesions, genetic factors and metabolic abnormalities have been identified as the potential causes for the link between type 1 diabetes and epilepsy.

In addition, younger age has been linked with an increased risk of developing epilepsy, the researchers said.

“This result is consistent with those of previous studies in that epilepsy or seizures are observed in many autoimmune or inflammatory disorders and are linked to the primary disease, or secondary to pro-inflammatory processes,” said I-Ching Chou from China Medical University in Taiwan.

In the study, published in the journal Diabetologia, computer modelling was used to estimate the effects of type 1 diabetes on epilepsy risk.

The study cohort contained 2,568 patients with type 1 diabetes, each of whose frequency was matched by sex, urbanisation of residence area and index year with 10 control patients without type 1 diabetes.

The results showed that the type 1 diabetes the cohort was 2.84 times more likely to develop epilepsy than the control cohort.