Adolescent children who are obese and affected by type-2 diabetes may start experiencing changes in their brains that could adversely impact their performance at school, a new study has revealed.

The study, published in the online version of Diabetologia, asserts that childhood obesity was assuming epidemic proportions in the United States and is causing diseases among teens that were once only seen in adults.

Diseases like high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes are becoming more common among adolescents and the latest research reveals that such children have a problem coping with the demands of school.

Dr. Antonio Convit, professor of psychiatry and medicine at the New York University Langone Medical Center says that obesity not only brings in type-2 diabetes, but also raises the risk of mortality among teens. In addition, we now know that the brains of such children do not work as effectively as they should.

Their ability to do well in school is severely impaired though it is not immediately know if this damage can be reversed or not, says Dr. Convit who led the research group.

The Medical Center worked with a group of obese children with type-2 diabetes, and another group who were obese but did not show evidence of diabetes or pre-diabetes. After a series of tests, it was found that the group with diabetes symptoms performed worse on memory and spelling tasks.

The doctors also performed MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans on the children that revealed changes in the white matter of the brains of obese children with diabetes.

Dr. Convit says that while the exact link between type-2 diabetes and the kids' ability to think is not known, but the research has provided enough information about how the brain uses sugar as source of metabolism and how insulin resistance interferes with the body's ability to get more sugar into the brain.