Glycemic control level alters working memory neural dynamics in adults with type 2 diabetes

Christine M. Embury, Grace H. Lord, Andjela T. Drincic, Cyrus V. Desouza, Tony W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Poor glycemic control in type 2 diabetes has been associated with accentuated age-related cognitive decline, although the underlying neural mechanisms are not well understood. The current study sought to identify the impact of glycemic control on the neural dynamics serving working memory in adults with type 2 diabetes. Participants (n = 34, ages = 55-73) performed a working memory task while undergoing MEG. Significant neural responses were examined relative to poorer (A1c > 7.0%) or tighter glycemic control (A1c < 7.0%). Those with poorer glycemic control showed diminished responses within left temporal and prefrontal regions during encoding and showed diminished responses within right occipital cortex during maintenance but showed an enhanced activity in the left temporal, occipital, and cerebellar regions during maintenance. Notably, left temporal activity in encoding and left lateral occipital activity in maintenance significantly predicted performance on the task such that diminished temporal activity led to longer reaction times, which were driven by the poorer glycemic control group. Greater lateral occipital activity during maintenance was associated with both lower accuracy and longer reaction times across all participants. These findings suggest that glycemic control has a robust impact on the neural dynamics serving working memory, with distinct effects by subprocess (e.g. encoding vs. maintenance) and direct effects on behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8333-8341
Number of pages9
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • A1c
  • MEG
  • complications
  • hyperglycemia
  • neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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