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Alzheimer's disease = Diabetes???

CurlyCurliesCurlyCurlies Posts: 1,641Registered Users
What if Alzheimer's disease really is just a form of diabetes of the brain? I just finished reading an article in Slate.com about this theory.
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.
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If this is true, we could possibly see a cure for this in our lifetime. That's exciting.
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Comments

  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users
    Maybe there's a link in some people, but I've known an awful lot of elderly people with diabetes for many years who never showed any sign of Alzheimer's.
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  • CurlyCurliesCurlyCurlies Posts: 1,641Registered Users
    Well, type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for the disease, but what I got from the article was that this type of of diabetes (type 3) is specific to the brain. You can be fine otherwise, but cells in your brain may have an insensitivity or resistance to insulin and that this could be the cause of Alzheimer's disease.
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  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    fascinating!
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  • AmandacurlsAmandacurls Posts: 6,252Registered Users
    The weird thing is, sleep apnea is found in the majority of Type 2 diabetes patients AND Alzheimers patients. I had no idea how serious sleep apnea could be. I'm ready for the day where they link all these diseases and find a cure.
  • popcornpopcorn Posts: 212Registered Users
    Many (if not most) of the rampant diseases in our culture are linked to obesity and smoking. People want a pill, when the best and cheapest option is to lose weight, exercise, eat right, and not smoke. It ain't easy, but it works.

    Interesting reading- lots of research being done, so we shall see what they discover.
  • legendslegends Posts: 3,073Registered Users
    Several months ago I read about a small study testing ketogenic (super high fat, low protein, as close to very low carb) on Parkinson's patients, and everyone who was able to stick to the diet experienced marked improvement in their symptoms. The diet has been used for decades on children with severe epilepsy who don't respond to medication. I believe the researchers were planning on testing the diet on Alzheimer's pateints. It makes sense that if Alz. is "diabetes of the brain," then a such a low-carb diet can help with symptoms.
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