Diabetes Begins in the Brain – The Latest Research Findings at the DGE Congress

The brain determines whether the metabolism is functioning. If it does not react with sufficient sensitivity to insulin, liver, adipose, and muscle tissues are unable to absorb enough glucose causing an increase in blood sugar levels. This can result in weight gain and type 2 diabetes. At the German Center for Diabetes Research, researchers from the fields of neuroscience and diabetology work closely together. At a fascinating symposium at the 66th German Congress of Endocrinology, from 5–7 June in Baden-Baden, they will shed light on how the central nervous system controls the peripheral energy and glucose balance


“The parts of the brain that react to insulin are important for food absorption and metabolism. Recent studies show that brain insulin resistance can lead to major metabolic disorders, which can increase the likelihood of obesity and lead to diabetes,” explains DZD spokesperson Prof. Andreas Birkenfeld, who will chair the DZD symposium together with Prof. Baptist Gallwitz from Tübingen. “Our aim is to find precise treatments for those whose brain no longer reacts sufficiently to the metabolic hormone”.

The talks will deal with the following topics:

The Influence of Sex and Age on the Central Endocrine Regulation of Eating Behavior
Prof. Dr. Stephanie Kullmann, Group leader/deputy head of Metabolic Neuroimaging at the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM) of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, German Center for Diabetes Research.

Brain Insulin Resistance and its Effects on the Peripheral Organs
Prof. Dr. Martin Heni, Professor of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Ulm University, Head of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes of the Department of Internal Medicine I at Ulm University Medical Center.

Effects of Insulin Action on the Mitochondria and Metabolism of the Central Nervous System
André Kleinridders, University of Potsdam and Head of the Department of Molecular and Experimental Nutritional Medicine at the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD)

Mechanisms of Action of the Incretins GLP-1 and GIP and their Multi-Agonists in the Central Nervous System
PD Dr. rer. nat. Timo Müller, Acting Director and Head of the Division of Molecular Pharmacology, Institute for Diabetes and Obesity, German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD)

Detailed information