What can functional brain imaging teach us about remission of type 2 diabetes?

Dhruti Hirani, Shahd Alabdulkader, Alexander D Miras, Victoria Salem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aims: With a paradigm shift in attitudes towards type 2 diabetes (T2D), ‘weight loss responsive’ diabetes is now thought of as a curable disease state. As a result, national programmes are being orchestrated to induce T2D remission soon after diagnosis with aggressive dietary interventions—such as very low‐calorie diets (VLCD). However, dietary interventions to achieve weight loss and diabetes remission lack the same long‐term sustainability and cardiovascular risk reduction evidence as bariatric surgery. This review aims to explore how brain imaging has contributed to our understanding of human eating behaviours and how neural correlates are affected by T2D. Methods: We summarise functional MRI (fMRI) studies looking at human eating behaviour and obesity. We explore how these neural correlates are affected by insulin resistance and T2D itself as well as its different treatment approaches. Finally, we comment on the need for more personalised approaches to maintaining metabolic health and how fMRI studies may inform this. Conclusion: fMRI studies have helped to fashion our understanding of the neurobiology of human appetite and obesity. Improving our understanding of the neural implications of T2D that promote disadvantageous eating behaviours will enable prevention of disease as well as mitigation against a vicious cycle of metabolic dysfunction and associated cognitive complications.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15235
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages12
JournalDiabetic medicine
Issue number12
Early online date4 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 4 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
VS is a Diabetes UK Grand Challenge Senior Fellow and also has active grants awarded by MRC and NC3Rs. Alexander D. Miras has received research funding from the MRC, NIHR, Jon Moulton Charity Trust, Fractyl, Novo Nordisk and Randox.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Diabetes UK.


  • type 2 diabetes remission
  • weight loss
  • fMRI


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