New evidence links Alzheimer's disease and diabetes

March 20, 2012, Journal of Clinical Investigation

An emerging body of research suggests that Alzheimer's disease may be linked to insulin resistance, constituting a third type of diabetes. This model is based on several observations including an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease for diabetic patients, and reduced insulin levels in the brain tissue of Alzheimer's disease patients.

Though intriguing, the existing evidence does not reveal if defective insulin signaling is causative of Alzheimer's or how insulin resistance impacts cognitive function. Two back-to-back research articles in the – led by Konrad Talbot, Steve Arnold and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania and by Fernanda De Felice, Sergio Ferreria and colleagues at the University of Rio de Janeiro - address the connection between insulin resistance and Alzheimer's disease.

The University of Pennsylvania team examined insulin signaling in human brain tissue postmortem, and concluded that the activation state of many insulin signaling molecules were highly related to memory and cognitive function. They further suggest that insulin resistance is a common and early feature of Alzheimer's disease.

The De Felice group further observed impaired insulin signaling in Alzheimer's in rodent and non-human primate model systems as well as from tissue from human patients. They went on to show in a mouse model system of Alzheimer's disease that treatment with a new anti-diabetic drug normalized insulin signaling and remarkably improved cognitive function.

Cumulatively, these two new studies strongly support a connection between and Alzheimer's disease and provide hope for new therapeutics in Alzheimer's disease treatment.

Explore further: Study evaluates intranasal insulin therapy for adults with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's

More information: An anti-diabetes agent protects the mouse brain from defective insulin signaling caused by Alzheimer's disease–associated Aß oligomers - www.jci.org/articles/view/5725 … de0efc001f2106f5edc4

Demonstrated brain insulin resistance in Alzheimer's disease patients is associated with IGF-1 resistance, IRS-1 dysregulation, and cognitive decline - www.jci.org/articles/view/5990 … f9a078d273792af09d60

Related Stories

Study evaluates intranasal insulin therapy for adults with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's

September 12, 2011
Intranasal insulin therapy appears to provide some benefit for cognitive function in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease, according to a report published Online First today by Archives of ...

Recommended for you

DNA vaccine reduces both toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer's

November 20, 2018
A DNA vaccine tested in mice reduces accumulation of both types of toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to research that scientists say may pave the way to a clinical trial.

For Down syndrome adults, death and dementia often come together

November 19, 2018
(HealthDay)—Seven in 10 people with Down syndrome show evidence of dementia when they die, new research from Britain reveals.

Meditation and music may alter blood markers of cellular aging and Alzheimer's disease

November 13, 2018
A research team led by Dr. Kim Innes, a professor in the West Virginia University School of Public Health, has found that a simple meditation or music listening program may alter certain biomarkers of cellular aging and Alzheimer's ...

Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease share common genetics in some patients

November 9, 2018
Genetics may predispose some people to both Alzheimer's disease and high levels of blood lipids such as cholesterol, a common feature of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study by an international team of researchers ...

Artificial intelligence predicts Alzheimer's years before diagnosis

November 6, 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology improves the ability of brain imaging to predict Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.

Diabetes medications may reduce Alzheimer's disease severity

November 1, 2018
People with Alzheimer's disease who were treated with diabetes drugs showed considerably fewer markers of the disease—including abnormal microvasculature and disregulated gene expressions—in their brains compared to Alzheimer's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.