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Communications Biology





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Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease associated with dysregulated glucose and insulin levels and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) later in life. It is thought that chronic hyperglycemia leads to neuroinflammation and tau hyperphosphorylation in the hippocampus leading to cognitive decline, but effects on hippocampal network activity are unknown. A sustained hyperglycemic state was induced in otherwise healthy animals and subjects were then tested on a spatial delayed alternation task while recording from the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Hyperglycemic animals performed worse on long delay trials and had multiple electrophysiological differences throughout the task. We found increased delta power and decreased theta power in the hippocampus, which led to altered theta/delta ratios at the end of the delay period. Cross frequency coupling was significantly higher in multiple bands and delay period hippocampus-ACC theta coherence was elevated, revealing hypersynchrony. The highest coherence values appeared long delays on error trials for STZ animals, the opposite of what was observed in controls, where lower delay period coherence was associated with errors. Consistent with previous investigations, we found increases in phosphorylated tau in STZ animals’ hippocampus and cortex, which might account for the observed oscillatory and cognitive changes. To investigate the effects of chronic hyperglycemia on hippocampal network activity Wirt et al induced sustained hyperglycemia in rats and tested them in a spatial delayed alternation task while recording from the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex. They demonstrated that hyperglycemia impaired task performance and altered theta rhythm as well as increasing tau phosphorylation, which suggest there is potentially a direct link between chronic hyperglycemia and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Alzheimer's disease; Short-term memory; Hyperglycemia


Cognitive Neuroscience

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