Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s linked
Tue, September 21, 2010
People with insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes may be more likely to
develop plaques in the brain linked with Alzheimer’s disease, Japanese
researchers have found.
Insulin resistance is the stage before Type 2 diabetes, when the hormone
insulin becomes less effective in lowering blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and obesity rates are all on the rise
worldwide, said study author Dr. Kensuke Sasaki of Kyushu University in
The study, published in this week’s issue of the journal Neurology, looked
at 135 people (74 men and 61 women) with an average age of 67 from
Participants had several diabetes glucose tests to measure their blood
sugar levels and were monitored for symptoms of Alzheimer’s for 10 to 15
During that time, about 16 per cent developed the disease that affects
memory, behaviour and social adaptation.
When participants died, researchers examined their autopsied brains for
the plaques and other physical evidence linked to Alzheimer’s.
People who had abnormal results on three tests of blood sugar control had
an increased risk of developing plaques, the researchers found.
Plaques were found in 72 per cent of people with insulin resistance and 62
per cent of people with no signs of insulin resistance.
Amyloid plaques are found in the brains of people with the disease, but it
is unclear whether the plaques cause Alzheimer’s or are a symptom of it.
“Further studies are needed to determine if insulin resistance is a cause
of the development of these plaques,” said Sasaki in a release. “It’s
possible that by controlling or preventing diabetes, we might also be
helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.”
This study had a longer observation period than previous research that
looked at the possible link between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Check it out at http://www.cbc/health