Background: Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Anti-GAD antibodies (GADA) are associated with the progression of stiff person syndrome and other neurological diseases, as well as the immune-mediated (type 1) diabetes. GABA is one of the most widely distributed neurotransmitters, but the non-motor symptoms of GADA-positive patients are not well understood. Diabetes is increasingly recognized as a risk factor for dementia; however, the relationship between diabetes and dementia is controversial.The objective of this study was to assess cognitive function in patients with GADA-positive diabetes using subjects with GADA-negative type 2 diabetes as controls.Methods: Twenty-one patients with GADA-positive diabetes (mean age 52.5 ± 12.3 years, mean duration 7.7 ± 6.6 years) and 19 control subjects with GADA-negative type 2 diabetes (mean age 53.4 ± 8.9 years, mean duration 12.5 ± 6.7) were included in the study. The subjects underwent extensive neuropsychological testing and brain MRI.Results: The neuropsychological test scores were lower in the GADA-positive group than the control group (GADA-negative). Twelve subjects (57%) in the GADA group and 4 subjects (21%) in the control group had low performances (p = 0.027). No statistically significant differences were found between the GADA and control groups regarding demographics, diabetic severity cardiovascular risks, cerebral T2 hyperintensities, white matter volume and gray matter volume.Conclusions: Our study showed that GADA-positive diabetic patients have an increased risk of cognitive decline compared to patients with type 2 diabetes of comparable diabetic severity. It also showed that GADA may be associated with isolated cognitive decline in the absence of other neurological complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas