The Alarming Diabetes-alzheimer’s Connection
The possible complications posed by diabetes—heart disease and damage to eyes, feet, nerves and so forth—are fairly familiar to the general public. But in recent years, scientists have been scrutinizing a risk that is both less well known and less understood—the heightened likelihood of dementia. Researchers have known for several years about diabetes and the higher risk of vascular dementia, the second most common kind. In ways, it seems only logical: Vascular dementia is caused by damaged blood vessels in the brain, just as diabetes hardens blood vessels elsewhere. The latest research is focused on Alzheimer’s disease, the most common neurodegenerative disorder and one for which it’s harder to figure out the precise relationship with diabetes. On this much, many scientists agree: The rate of Alzheimer’s disease could be cut by close to half if diabetes could be abolished. The connection between the two is so strong that Suzanne M. de la Monte, one of the top researchers in the field, has said that many cases of Alzheimer’s could be dubbed Type 3 diabetes. People who haven’t necessarily developed diabetes might still develop insulin resistance in the brain, said de la Monte, a professor of neurosurgery, pathology and laboratory medicine at Brown University. That’s why she uses the term Type 3 diabetes—one doesn’t necessarily cause the other. But in both cases, she said, people show certain markers at the cellular level. “Growing evidence supports the concept that Alzheimer’s disease is fundamentally a metabolic disease with molecular and biochemical features that correspond with diabetes mellitus and other peripheral insulin resistance disorders,” de la Monte wrote in 2014 in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology. But the picture is more comp Continue reading >>
Alzheimer's Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes–evidence Reviewed
Go to: Abstract Alzheimer's disease (AD) has characteristic histopathological, molecular, and biochemical abnormalities, including cell loss; abundant neurofibrillary tangles; dystrophic neurites; amyloid precursor protein, amyloid-β (APP-Aβ) deposits; increased activation of prodeath genes and signaling pathways; impaired energy metabolism; mitochondrial dysfunction; chronic oxidative stress; and DNA damage. Gaining a better understanding of AD pathogenesis will require a framework that mechanistically interlinks all these phenomena. Currently, there is a rapid growth in the literature pointing toward insulin deficiency and insulin resistance as mediators of AD-type neurodegeneration, but this surge of new information is riddled with conflicting and unresolved concepts regarding the potential contributions of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), metabolic syndrome, and obesity to AD pathogenesis. Herein, we review the evidence that (1) T2DM causes brain insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and cognitive impairment, but its aggregate effects fall far short of mimicking AD; (2) extensive disturbances in brain insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling mechanisms represent early and progressive abnormalities and could account for the majority of molecular, biochemical, and histopathological lesions in AD; (3) experimental brain diabetes produced by intracerebral administration of streptozotocin shares many features with AD, including cognitive impairment and disturbances in acetylcholine homeostasis; and (4) experimental brain diabetes is treatable with insulin sensitizer agents, i.e., drugs currently used to treat T2DM. We conclude that the term “type 3 diabetes” accurately reflects the fact that AD represents a form of diabetes that selectively involves t Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Dementia - Is There A Connection?
Diabetes and dementia - is there a connection? Diabetes and dementia - is there a connection? What do diabetes and dementia have in common? Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to make enough insulin or use the insulin it makes properly. Insulin is a hormone used by the body to control glucose levels, or the amount of sugar, in your blood. Glucose is one of the main sources of fuel for the body, providing energy the body needs to perform all necessary functions. There are two main types of diabetes type 1 and type 2. A third type, gestational diabetes, occurs temporarily during pregnancy.Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be a risk factor for Alzheimers disease, vascular dementia and other types of dementia because cardiovascular problems associated with diabetes are also associated with dementia. These include: Heart disease or family history of heart disease Research has also proved that, similar to diabetes, glucose is not used properly in the brains of people with Alzheimers disease. This may be caused by nerve cell death, which reduces the brains ability to interpret messages.In the case of vascular dementia, brain cells die due to lack of oxygen, preventing brain cells from communicating with each other. Beta amyloid plaques, which build up in the brains of people with Alzheimers disease, have also been shown to prevent insulin receptors in the brain from doing their job. This can impact insulin production and cause brain cells to become insensitive to insulin. Is Alzheimers disease type 3 diabetes? Recent studies suggest that the brains of people with Alzheimers disease are in a diabetic state, partly due to the decrease in or insensitivity to insulin.There are many similarities in the brains of people with diabetes and the brains of people with Alzh Continue reading >>
Alzheimer’s = Type 3 Diabetes
“My parents are getting older and I want to do everything I can to help them prevent Alzheimer’s, considering both my grandmothers had this disease, and I am worried about getting it too.” writes this week’s house call. “What can we do to prevent dementia?” The truth is, dementia is a very big problem that’s becoming bigger every day. Statistics are grim. 10 percent of 65-year-olds, 25 percent of 75-year-olds, and 50 percent of 85-year-olds will develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. And the fastest growing segment of our population is the 85-year-olds. Researchers predict Alzheimer’s will affect 106 million people by 2050. It’s now the seventh leading cause of death. Scientists now call Alzheimer’s disease “Type 3 diabetes.” What’s the link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes? Well, new research shows insulin resistance, or what I call diabesity (from eating too many carbs and sugar and not enough fat) is one of the major factors that starts the brain-damage cascade, which robs the memory of over half the people in their 80s, leading to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. But don’t think too much insulin affects only older folks’ memories. It doesn’t just suddenly occur once you’re older. Dementia actually begins when you’re younger and takes decades to develop and worsen. Here’s the bad news/good news. Eating sugar and refined carbs can cause pre-dementia and dementia. But cutting out the sugar and refined carbs and adding lots of fat can prevent, and even reverse, pre-dementia and early dementia. More recent studies show people with diabetes have a four-fold risk for developing Alzheimer’s. People with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome have an increased risk for having pre-dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). You Continue reading >>
Sugar And Your Brain: Is Alzheimer’s Disease Actually Type 3 Diabetes?
It starves your brain, tangles and twists vital cells, and for decades it has been misrepresented as an untreatable, genetically determined disease. Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in North America1. The truth, however, is that this devastating illness shares a strong link with another sickness that wreaks havoc on millions of individuals in North America — Diabetes. We all know that individuals affected by Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes have a notable resistance to insulin. Type 1 is caused by the body's inability to produce insulin, and Type 2 is caused by the deterioration of the body's insulin receptors and associated with the consumption of too much refined carbohydrate like processed grains and sugar. But when studies began to appear in 2005 that revealed a shocking correlation between insulin and brain cell deterioration, major breaks were made around Alzheimer's prevention[i]. Health practitioners became curious about a critical question — could Alzheimer's disease simply be Type 3 Diabetes? Alzheimer's disease has long been perceived as mysterious and inevitable. 5.3 million individuals suffer every year from the disease that appears to be untreatable[ii]. But, if this illness is associated with insulin resistance, this simply isn't the case. We already know that diabetics are at least twice as likely to experience dementia[iii]. The cells of your brain can become insulin-resistant just like other cells in the body. What was once considered a mysterious accumulation of beta amyloid plaques characteristic in the Alzheimer brain is now associated with the same lack of insulin that negatively affects cognition[iv]. Where there is knowledge about underlying causes there is the opportunity for prevention. Research that surfaced around problems Continue reading >>
What Is Type 3 Diabetes?
At first blush, it may be hard to imagine a connection between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. But it’s real—and it’s so strong that some experts are now referring to it as type 3 diabetes or brain diabetes. By any name, it’s the progression from type 2 diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia marked by memory deficits and a dramatic decline in cognitive function. While all people with diabetes have a 60 percent increased risk of developing any type of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, recent research suggests that women with type 2 diabetes have a 19 percent greater risk of a certain type, known as vascular dementia (which is caused by problems with blood supply to the brain) than men do. Overall, older adults with type 2 diabetes suffer from greater declines in working memory and executive functioning (a set of mental processes that involve planning, organization, controlling attention, and flexible thinking) than their peers do. Granted, not everyone who has type 2 diabetes will develop Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, or any other form of dementia, and there are many people who have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia who don’t have diabetes, notes Gary Small, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute and author of The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. But the reality is, “these risk factors tend to add up: If you have diabetes, that doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. If you have a first-degree relative—a parent or sibling, for example—with Alzheimer’s, that doubles your risk.” And if you have poorly controlled blood pressure, abdominal (a.k.a., central) obesity, or sleep apnea, your risk of developing dementia is increased even more. Surprisin Continue reading >>
Is Alzheimer's Disease Actually A Form Of Diabetes?
When the brazen James Watson had his genome sequenced, he declined to find out whether he carried a gene variant that would increase his risk for Alzheimer's disease. Ditto for Steven Pinker. There are virtually no treatment or prevention options for those who have or are at risk for Alzheimer's. Nor do scientists fully understand what causes it, though for years, opposing camps have duked it out over hypotheses that have focused largely on brain abnormalities called plaques and others called tangles, neither of which has so far proved a good therapeutic target. Now some experts are proposing an avant-garde way of approaching Alzheimer's: as a form of diabetes. Some even dub it "type 3 diabetes" or "diabetes of the brain." The idea is that memory loss and cognitive deterioration in at least some Alzheimer's patients may be caused by low insulin or insulin resistance in the brain, much as lack of production or poor response to insulin in the body is central to the pathologies of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Effective Alzheimer's treatments, then, might aim to boost brain insulin levels or decrease resistance while addressing destructive factors like inflammation and oxidative stress. If the theory holds up, as early research suggests, it could be a boon to a field scarred by disappointments and dead ends. Alzheimer's researchers have been bitterly divided over what initially causes the disease and where to look for treatments. For years, the dominant view was that plaques—sticky deposits of a protein called beta-amyloid—were the central culprits, destroying neurons and causing cognitive decline. More recently, some researchers in the amyloid camp have begun to focus on toxic, soluble forms of the protein, rather than the plaques themselves, as the real instigator. At Continue reading >>
Connections Between Diabetes And Alzheimer’s Disease
Relatively recently, it has been proposed that Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a form of diabetes that primarily affects the nerve cells of the brain., Many researchers and physicians now refer to AD as Type3Diabetes or T3D. Alzheimer’s Disease Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia characterized by loss of short-term memory, confusion, forgetfulness and difficulties in speech. Later stages can be characterized by delusional thinking, repetitive behaviors, loss of long-term memory, sometime rapid mood swings and incontinence. It can only be definitively diagnosed by autopsy and microscopic examination of the brain when large amounts of protein (beta amyloid, tau) show up as tangled “threads” in the nerve cells. Currently, there is no blood or other test to diagnose AD. Alzheimer’s disease is believed to affect 20% of those over 65 to varying degrees. By the time an individual is in their 80s, the chances that they will show signs of AD reach 50%. AD, like T1D and T2D is a slowly progressive disease with both environmental and genetic factors at play. Studies have indicated that those individuals with T2D have a 50-65% higher risk of AD. Also, both AD and T2D are chronic inflammatory diseases with evidence of similar types of damage (oxidative) to the cells of the body. Most importantly, recent evidence indicates that the nerve cells of the brain show insulin resistance and resistance to another hormone, insulin-like growth factor or IGF. Insulin resistance and IGF resistance is considered a sign of prediabetes. Since glucose (blood sugar) is the primary source of energy for brain cells, it is thought likely that the increasing degree of insulin and IGF resistance essentially starves the brain cells of its most importance energy source. Over the long ter Continue reading >>
Is Alzheimers Diabetes Of The Brain?
Is Alzheimers really a type 3 diabetes of the brain? By which I mean that insulin and Avandia, drugs used to control diabetes somewhat successfully have a definite beneficial effect on the risk of developing Alzheimers. Note that is NOT the same as saying they will help Alzheimers, once developed. This startling new turn has been reinforced by a study published Feb 2009 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers at Northwestern University treated nerve cells from the hippocampus, which is where we make our lasting memories. They subjected cells to insulin and the drug Avandia, which is used to treat type 2 diabetes. In doing so the researchers discovered that insulin protected the cells from clumps of toxic proteins called beta-amyloid. This structural change (amyloid plaques), along with neurofibrillary tangles, are the two definitive markers for Alzheimers. It is beginning to look like Alzheimers is actually a third type of diabetes! Dr. Sergio T. Ferreira, a member of the research team and a professor of biochemistry in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, said in a news release,"Recognizing that Alzheimers disease is a type of brain diabetes points the way to novel discoveries that may finally result in disease-modifying treatments for this devastating disease." Brain cells need insulin to survive and a drop in brain insulin levels leads to brain cell damage. Memory loss can occur if the cells that die are located in the hippocampus. Patients with type 2 diabetes dont produce enough insulin, or the body does not use insulin properly. Its the same thing, meaning a no insulin effect. Clearly the new study shows that lowered insulin leads to damage of the memory-forming structures and automatically raises the risk of Alzheimers. Avandia was beneficial beca Continue reading >>
How Alzheimer’s Could Be Type 2 Diabetes
The link between Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes continues to grow stronger. A new study presented at the Society for Neuroscience shows that the disease may actually be the late stages of type 2 diabetes. Learn more about how Alzheimer’s could be type 2 diabetes. The Correlation Between Alzheimer’s and Type 2 Diabetes A new study done by researchers at Albany University in New York, shows that Alzheimer’s may be the late stages of type 2 diabetes. People who have type 2 diabetes produce extra insulin. That insulin can get into the brain, disrupting brain chemistry and leading toxic proteins that poison brain cells to form. The protein that forms in both Alzheimer’s patients and people with type 2 diabetes is the same protein. Researcher Edward McNay at Albany University, said: “People who develop diabetes have to realize this is about more than controlling their weight or diet. It’s also the first step on the road to cognitive decline. At first they won’t be able to keep up with their kids playing games, but in 30 years’ time they may not even recognize them.” Alzheimer’s, Brain Tangles and Diabetes In the past few years, the connection between the two diseases has grown stronger with each relevant study. People who develop type 2 diabetes often experience a sharp decline in cognitive function and almost 70% of them ultimately develop Alzheimer’s. A recent study published in the journal Neurology found that people with type 2 diabetes were more likely to develop the brain “tangles” commonly see in people with Alzheimer’s disease. They found that participants with type 2 diabetes were more likely to have the brain tangles, even if they did not have dementia or memory loss. The study evaluated over 120 older adults with type 2 diabetes and Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Alzheimer's Linked
Diabetes may increase your risk of Alzheimer's. Reduce this risk by controlling your blood sugar. Diet and exercise can help. Diabetes and Alzheimer's disease are connected in ways that aren't yet fully understood. While not all research confirms the connection, many studies suggest people with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, are at higher risk of eventually developing Alzheimer's dementia or other dementias. Taking steps to prevent or control diabetes may help reduce your risk of cognitive decline. Understanding the connection Diabetes can cause several complications, such as damage to your blood vessels. Diabetes is considered a risk factor for vascular dementia. This type of dementia occurs due to brain damage that is often caused by reduced or blocked blood flow to your brain. Many people with diabetes have brain changes that are hallmarks of both Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Some researchers think that each condition fuels the damage caused by the other. Ongoing research is looking at trying to better understand the link between Alzheimer's and diabetes. That link may occur as a result of the complex ways that type 2 diabetes affects the ability of the brain and other body tissues to use sugar (glucose) and respond to insulin. Diabetes also may increase the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, a condition in which people experience more thinking (cognitive) and memory problems than are usually present in normal aging. Mild cognitive impairment may precede or accompany Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. As researchers examine the connections between diabetes and Alzheimer's, they're also studying potential ways to prevent or treat both diseases. Reducing your risk Working with your health care team to prevent diabetes or ma Continue reading >>
Diabetes Of The Brain
The latest study to look at the effects of blood sugar levels on the brain has found that high glucose concentrations can lead to an increase of beta amyloid plaques and tau tangles, suggesting that Alzheimers disease may actually be a third form of diabetes. Learn more about this study and the relationship between diabetes and brain health. The Link Between Alzheimers and Diabetes Its no secret that there is a strong link between Alzheimers and diabetes, but now a new study suggests that Alzheimers may actually be a form of diabetes known as type 3 diabetes. The study, published in Alzheimers & Dementia , a journal of the Alzheimers Association and conducted by the National Institute of Aging, shows that high glucose concentrations in brain tissue can stem from abnormal glucose metabolism and even lead to amyloid plaques and tau tangles associated withthe disease. The study claims that glucose levels in the brain are metabolized by a key protein (GLUT3), not insulin, like the rest of the body. GLUT3 transports glucose through the metabolism process into nerve cells, providing energy for neurons in a process called glycolysis. When blood sugar levels are high, there are high concentrations of glucose levels in brain tissue. Additionally, the study found that a reduction in glycolysis were related to a more severe manifestation of Alzheimers. The study says, To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first to measure brain-tissue glucose concentrations and demonstrate their relationships with both severity of Alzheimersdisease pathology and the expression of Alzheimers disease symptoms. Madhav Thambisetty of the NIAs Laboratory for Behavioral Neuroscience and lead on the study, says the study confirms the advice he gives patients with memory issues: What is good f Continue reading >>
Is Alzheimer’s Type 3 Diabetes?
Just in case you need another reason to cut back on junk food, it now turns out that Alzheimer’s could well be a form of diet-induced diabetes. That’s the bad news. The good news is that laying off soda, doughnuts, processed meats and fries could allow you to keep your mind intact until your body fails you. We used to think there were two types of diabetes: the type you’re born with (Type 1) and the type you “get.” That’s called Type 2, and was called “adult onset” until it started ravaging kids. Type 2 is brought about by a combination of factors, including overeating, American-style. The idea that Alzheimer’s might be Type 3 diabetes has been around since 2005, but the connection between poor diet and Alzheimer’s is becoming more convincing, as summarized in a cover story in New Scientist entitled “Food for Thought: What You Eat May Be Killing Your Brain.” (The graphic — a chocolate brain with a huge piece missing — is creepy. But for the record: chocolate is not the enemy.) The studies  are increasingly persuasive, and unsurprising when you understand the role of insulin in the body. So, a brief lesson. We all need insulin: in non-diabetics, it’s released to help cells take in the blood sugar (glucose) they need for energy. But the cells can hold only so much; excess sugar is first stored as glycogen, and — when there’s enough of that — as fat. (Blood sugar doesn’t come only from sugar, but from carbohydrates of all kinds; easily digested carbohydrates flood the bloodstream with sugar.) Insulin not only keeps the blood vessels that supply the brain healthy, it also encourages the brain’s neurons to absorb glucose, and allows those neurons to change and become stronger. Low insulin levels in the brain mean reduced brain funct Continue reading >>
Alzheimer's: Diabetes Of The Brain? | The Dr. Oz Show
Although weve always known that Alzheimers disease is typically associated with numerous tangles and plaque in the brain, the exact cause of these abnormalities has been hard to pin down. Now, we may be closer to an answer. In many respects, Alzheimers is a brain form of diabetes. Even in the earliest stages of disease, the brains ability to metabolize sugar is reduced. Normally, insulin plays a big role in helping the brain take up sugar from the blood. But, in Alzheimers, insulin is not very effective in the brain. Consequently, the brain cells practically starve to death. These days, most people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Basically, cells throughout the body become resistant to insulin signals. In an effort to encourage cells to take up more sugar from the blood, the pancreas increases the output of insulin. Imagine having to knock louder on a door to make the person inside open up and answer. The high levels of insulin could damage small blood vessels in the brain, and eventually lead to poor brain circulation. This problem could partly explain why Type 2 diabetes harms the brain. In Alzheimers, the brain, especially parts that deal with memory and personality, become resistant to insulin. As in most organs, insulin stimulates brain cells to take up glucose or sugar, and metabolize it to make energy. Insulin also is very important for making chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which are needed for neurons to communicate with each other. Insulin also stimulates many functions that are needed to form new memories and conquer tasks that require learning and memory. Where does the insulin come from in the brain? Very sensitive tests showed that insulin is made in the brain. Its made in neurons, and the hormone made in the brain is the same as that p Continue reading >>
Diabetes Of The Brain Is Connected To Alzheimer's, New Study Shows
There’s growing evidence that Alzheimer’s disease resembles a new form of diabetes known as type 3. A National Institute of Aging study now shows how high glucose concentrations in brain tissue may result from abnormal glucose metabolism, eventually leading to the dangerous plaques and tangles characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease — the neurodegenerative disease that represents the major cause of dementia. “To the best of our knowledge,” the study says, “this report is the first to measure brain-tissue glucose concentrations and ... demonstrate their relationships with both severity of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and the expression of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms,” said the study published Monday in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, a journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. The study also sets “the stage for future studies that may uncover therapeutic interventions targeting brain glucose dysregulation,” says the study led by Madhav Thambisetty of NIA’s Laboratory for Behavioral Neuroscience. He’s also associated with Johns Hopkins Medicine. Study results, he said, give him no reason to change the advice he gives patients with memory problems: “What is good for the heart is good for the brain,” including a healthy diet, exercise, adequate sleep and brain-stimulating activities. In Alzheimer’s disease, accumulation of senile plaques (deposits of amyloid beta in the gray matter of the brain) and neurofibrillary tangles (aggregations of tau protein), adversely affect brain function, leading to the loss of neurons and memory. The study describes how glucose levels are metabolized in the brain through a process that doesn’t involve insulin, as is the case in the rest of the body. Instead, a key protein — GLUT3 — transports glucose through Continue reading >>