Type 1 Diabetes and Epilepsy: What’s the Connection?

HealthDay News — Patients with type 1 diabetes are at an increased risk of developing epilepsy, according to a study published in Diabetologia.

I-Ching Chou, MD, from the China Medical University Children’s Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues used claims data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database to identify 2568 patients with type 1 diabetes. Each patient was frequency-matched by sex, urbanization of residence area, and index year with 10 patients without type 1 diabetes.

The researchers found that the risk of developing epilepsy was significantly higher in patients with type 1 diabetes than in those without type 1 diabetes. After adjustment for potential confounders, the type 1 diabetes cohort was 2.84 times more likely to develop epilepsy than the control cohort.

“Metabolic abnormalities of type 1 diabetes, such as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, may have a damaging effect on the central nervous system and be associated with significant long-term neurological sequelae,” the authors write.


Chou IC, Wang CH, Lin WD, Tsai FJ, Lin CC, Kao CH. Risk of epilepsy in type 1 diabetes mellitus: a population-based cohort study. Diabetologia. 2016; doi:10.1007/s00125-016-3929-0.