Abstract: It is now well established that the human brain is an insulin-sensitive organ. Insulin regulates activity in a limited number of specific brain areas that are important for cognitive control, memory, reward and homeostasis. These effects were determined in humans with magnetoencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. However, these studies also showed that insulin action in the brain is associated with several factors such as obesity and increasing age as well as possible pathogenic factors such as visceral fat, saturated fatty acids, alterations at the blood–brain barrier and certain genetic polymorphisms. A major question is now the developmental trajectory of brain insulin resistance. To address this question, we use advanced non-invasive brain imaging to assess central and autonomous nervous system activity in human fetuses. Current data clearly shows that metabolic changes in the mother are associated with specific changes in the fetus, which imply that insulin action in the brain may already be altered during gestation.
Hubert Preissl is head of the metabolic neuroimaging group at the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the University of Tübingen.
For further information about Prof. Dr. Hubert Preißl.
Time and location of the seminar: June 13, 17:00-17:45 auditorium XVII, EG, Nußallee 17