Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Charlotte H Greene, PhD

Second Advisor

Jeffrey S Freeman, DO

Third Advisor

Camille DiLullo, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Marcus Bell, PhD, Program Director, Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences


The loss of insulin sensitivity in Type 2 diabetes interferes with cellular utilization of glucose. The underlying down-regulation of insulin receptors and the resulting insulin resistance is wide-spread throughout the body. The cardiovascular consequences may be indirectly responsible for decreased taste sensitivity because of diminished perfusion of the taste buds in this patient population. This study utilized an inexpensive, non-invasive technique, electrogustometry, to directly stimulate the taste buds by applying a variable, direct-current stimulus to measure taste receptor thresholds in newly-diagnosed ( < 2 years) and long-standing diagnosed (> 6 years) male and female Type 2 diabetes mellitus subjects. Taste thresholds were elicited by application of an anodal current to the taste receptors. An increased taste threshold to the anodal current, indicative of a loss of taste sensitivity, was detected in those Type 2 diabetes mellitus subjects with long-standing disease compared to newly diagnosed subjects. Although the differences were not statistically significant a consistent trend suggestive of a significant difference was demonstrated. The results of this pilot study suggest that a future study utilizing a larger number of subjects may result in statistical significance of this approach to managing these two groups.