It is becoming increasingly evident that type 2 diabetes mellitus can have effects on global and regional brain morphology. Ventricular enlargement reflecting cerebral atrophy has been reported particularly in elderly type 2 diabetes patients. However, little is known about its timing through the disease course and morphological variability. Using the combined volumetric and advanced three-dimensional morphological approach, we identified differences in size and shape of the lateral ventricles between recent-onset type 2 diabetes patients and healthy individuals. High-resolution T1-weighted images were obtained from 23 type 2 diabetes patients whose illness duration was less than 1 year and 23 carefully matched healthy individuals. By volume measurement, we found enlarged lateral and third ventricles in type 2 diabetes patients, relative to healthy individuals (F1,41 = 7.96, P = 0.007; F1,41 = 11.16, P = 0.002, respectively). Morphological analysis revealed that the expansion of lateral ventricles in the diabetic brain was prominent in the bilateral frontal horns. The current findings suggest that atrophic changes particularly of the anterior frontal lobe can occur as early as the first year after the clinical diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus.