Cortical Plasticity and Interneuron Recruitment in Adolescents Born to Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Jago M Van Dam, Mitchell R Goldsworthy, William M Hague, Suzette Coat, Julia B Pitcher

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Exposure to gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in utero is associated with a range of adverse cognitive and neurological outcomes. Previously, we reported altered neuroplastic responses to continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) in GDM-exposed adolescents. Recent research suggests that the relative excitability of complex oligosynaptic circuits (late I-wave circuits) can predict these responses. We aimed to determine if altered I-wave recruitment was associated with neuroplastic responses in adolescents born to women with GDM. A total of 20 GDM-exposed adolescents and 10 controls (aged 13.1 ± 1.0 years) participated. cTBS was used to induce neuroplasticity. I-wave recruitment was assessed by comparing motor-evoked potential latencies using different TMS coil directions. Recruitment of late I-waves was associated with stronger LTD-like neuroplastic responses to cTBS (p = < 0.001, R2 = 0.36). There were no differences between groups in mean neuroplasticity (p = 0.37), I-wave recruitment (p = 0.87), or the association between these variables (p = 0.41). The relationship between I-wave recruitment and the response to cTBS previously observed in adults is also present in adolescents and does not appear to be altered significantly by in utero GDM exposure. Exposure to GDM does not appear to significantly impair LTD-like synaptic plasticity or interneuron recruitment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 19 Mar 2021

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