HealthDay News — Moderate hypoglycemia is associated with deterioration in language processing in adults with and without type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.
To examine the effects of hypoglycemia on language processing in adult patients with type 1 diabetes and without, Kate V. Allen, from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues followed 20 adults with type 1 diabetes and 20 healthy volunteers.
The effects of hypoglycemia on the correlation between working memory and language (reading span), grammatical decoding (self-paced reading), and grammatical encoding (subject-verb agreement) were examined using language tests.
There was a significant deterioration in reading span and a decrease in correct responses with hypoglycemia. During hypoglycemia, the reading time for the first sentence fragment increased on the self-paced reading test; for the reading of the next fragment, hypoglycemia had more of an effect on healthy volunteers than on adults with type 1 diabetes.
Neither the number of errors in sentence comprehension nor the time taken to answer questions was significantly affected by hypoglycemia. There was a deterioration of subject-verb agreement with hypoglycemia.
“Hypoglycemia caused a significant deterioration in reading span and in the accuracy of subject-verb agreement, both of which are practical aspects of language involved in its everyday use,” concluded the researchers.
“Language processing is therefore impaired during moderate hypoglycemia.”