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The effect of diabetes mellitus on nervous tissue Rivers, William Alexander

Abstract

A group of alloxanized rats fed on a high salt diet were studied histologically to determine the direct or indirect effect of diabetes mellitus on the nervous system. The most significant changes observed were in the vascular system of the brain. Lesions of the arteries were identical with those found in arteriosclerosis and massive hemorrhages accompanied by multiple diffuse diapedesis not only in the arteries but also in the veins was indicative of hypertension. It is believed the hypertensive condition was induced by a combination of the diabetes and salt feeding. Associated with the vascular dysfunction generalized cerebral changes were noted. They included neuron degeneration, exhibited by loss of Nissl granules, vacuolization of the cytoplasm and cerebral softening. Also Gitter cell invasion and proliferation occurred at the sites of vascular disturbance. It appears that the neurological involvement in diabetes is a direct result of changes in the blood system and not of the disease itself.

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