Electrophysiological changes in optic neuropathy of streptozotocin induced diabetic rats

A M Ghita, D Parvu, R Sava, L Georgescu, L Zagrean
Journal of Medicine and Life 2013 September 15, 6 (3): 340-8

UNLABELLED: The visually evoked potentials are electrical signals generated by the occipital cortex due to electrical stimulus. The clinical importance of VEP is to diagnose the functional changes of the optic nerve in different diseases such as diabetic mellitus. Our study sought latency of VEP changes depending on glycemic value and duration of diabetes in Wistar rats.

METHODS: this study evaluated the VEP of 25 rats in three groups: control group, diabetic group 1 with glycemic values between 200-400mg/dl and diabetic group 2 with glycemic values between 400 and 600mg/dl. These rats from diabetic group 2 were followed for 4 months and the ones in control group and diabetic group 1 for 5 months.

RESULTS: the latency of VEP shows slight changes without any statistical significance in the control group. In diabetic group 1 and 2 similar changes occurred, with statistical significance and the amplitude of the changes was proportional with the glycemic value. The rats had a rapid increase of VEP latency after the induction of diabetes and returned to a normal range in the first month. After a time, when the latencies of VEP were in normal range, a new growth appeared faster and larger as the glycemic values were higher.

CONCLUSION: diabetes brings changes to the visual signal transmission and to the central processing, this being revealed by the examination of the visually evoked potential. Increased VEP latency is statistically correlated with the changes that occur at the level of the values of glucose in blood. A rapid growth in blood sugar lowers the visual signal transmission. This change is temporary despite the persistence of elevated blood glucose values, probably by adjusting to the new condition. However, maintaining high glycemic values remotely produces a progressive increase of the delay of the visual signal. This progressive increase is faster as blood glucose levels are higher.

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