Diabetes Linked To Alzheimer's Disease Could Lead To New Treatments

Two studies suggests that Alzheimer's disease have an association with insulin resistance, which may lead to a third type of diabetes that could possibly lead to new treatments.

Two back-to-back studies headed by Konrad Talbot at the University of Pennsylvania and Fernanda De Felice at the University of Rio de Janeiro wanted to determine the association between Alzheimer's disease and insulin resistance.

The basis for the study came from several observations of diabetic patients who had Alzheimer's disease and the reduction of insulin levels in the brain of known Alzheimer's disease patients. However, the question still remains - what came first? Did Alzheimer's disease cause insulin resistance or the other way around?

Diabetes Linked to Alzheimer's disease, study suggests

The University of Pennsylvania team examined insulin signaling on brain tissue. They concluded that Insulin signaling had a significant association with memory and cognitive function (brain tissue associated with Alzheimer's disease). When the brain tissue were insulin resistant, memory and cognitive function deteriorated. Thus, making insulin resistance a key factor in detecting early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

The team from the University of Rio de Janeiro also supported this finding. They also used a rodent and non-human primate model system to support this finding. They concluded that when they administered an anti-diabetic treatment to the rodent model, cognitive functions significantly improved.

Overall, these two new studies strongly suggest the association between Alzheimer's disease and insulin resistance which may provide key information for new treatments on Alzheimer's disease and diabetic patients.

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