Nocturnal hypoglycemia is associated with next day cognitive performance in adults with type 1 diabetes: Pilot data from the GluCog study

Miranda Zuniga-Kennedy, Olivia H. Wang, Luciana M. Fonseca, Michael J. Cleveland, Jane D. Bulger, Elizabeth Grinspoon, Devon Hansen, Zoë W. Hawks, Laneé Jung, Shifali Singh, Martin Sliwinski, Alandra Verdejo, Kellee M. Miller, Ruth S. Weinstock, Laura Germine, Naomi Chaytor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) have increased risk for cognitive dysfunction and high rates of sleep disturbance. Despite associations between glycemia and cognitive performance using cross-sectional and experimental methods few studies have evaluated this relationship in a naturalistic setting, or the impact of nocturnal versus daytime hypoglycemia. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) may provide insight into the dynamic associations between cognition, affective, and physiological states. The current study couples EMA data with continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to examine the within-person impact of nocturnal glycemia on next day cognitive performance in adults with T1D. Due to high rates of sleep disturbance and emotional distress in people with T1D, the potential impacts of sleep characteristics and negative affect were also evaluated. Methods: This pilot study utilized EMA in 18 adults with T1D to examine the impact of glycemic excursions, measured using CGM, on cognitive performance, measured via mobile cognitive assessment using the TestMyBrain platform. Multilevel modeling was used to test the within-person effects of nocturnal hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia on next day cognition. Results: Results indicated that increases in nocturnal hypoglycemia were associated with slower next day processing speed. This association was not significantly attenuated by negative affect, sleepiness, or sleep quality. Conclusions: These results, while preliminary due to small sample size, showcase the power of intensive longitudinal designs using ambulatory cognitive assessment to uncover novel determinants of cognitive fluctuation in real world settings, an approach that may be utilized in other populations. Findings suggest reducing nocturnal hypoglycemia may improve cognition in adults with T1D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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