Why Alzheimer's Disease Is Called Type 3 Diabetes
Alzheimer's disease is a type of progressive dementia that affects more than 5 million Americans, and those rates are projected to increase dramatically over the next several years. One link to Alzheimer's disease that researchers are exploring is diabetes. There have been several studies that have connected the two diseases together. In fact, some researchers have begun to call Alzheimer's disease "type 3 diabetes."
Although a small amount of research found an increased risk of dementia with type 1 diabetes, the vast majority of studies have concluded that this link between diabetes and Alzheimer's is specific to type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes develops when insulin becomes less efficient at processing sugar through the bloodstream. Studies show that approximately half of people with type 2 diabetes will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease. With such a strong connection, the focus of some research studies is to explain the connection between the two disease.
Type 3 Diabetes
In type 1 or 2 diabetes, not enough insulin (or none at all) is produced to process glucose (sugar) correctly or the body no longer responds to insulin, and it affects the functioning on the whole body. In Alzheimer's disease, it appears that a similar problem is occurring, but instead of causing problems in the entire body's functioning, the effects occur in the brain.
Researchers found interesting evidence of this when they studied people's brains after their death. They noted that the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease who did not have type 1 or type 2 diabetes showed many of the same abnorma Continue reading