Glucose metabolism alterations in Friedreich’s ataxia

G. Finocchiaro, G. Baio, P. Micossi, G. Pozza, S. Di Donato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have characterized the abnormalities of glucose metabolism associated with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) by studying plasma glucose, insulin, growth hormone (GH), and glucagon before and after an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), an IV glucose load, and an IV arginine load, in 21 patients and in controls. Twelve patients were normotolerant (NT) to glucose, five glucose-intolerant (IT), and four diabetic (DM). Insulin secretion of IT patients was increased and delayed during OGTT. Interestingly, the insulin release during arginine load was significantly decreased in NT and IT as well as in DM patienb. The GH response to OGTT was altered in IT patients. Plasma glucagon after an arginine load was significantly higher in patients than in controls. The results indicate that FA is associated with insulin resistance, β-cell deficiency, and type I diabetes. These alterations might be genetically linked or metabolically related to the primary defect in FA. Their interplay or independent effects are responsible for abnormalities of glucose metabolism in FA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1292-1296
Number of pages5
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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