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Alzheimer’s Disease could be Caused by a New Type 3 Diabetes

December 4th 2005

Alzheimer’s Disease could be Caused by a New Type 3 Diabetes

Alzheimer's Diabetes Link

Researchers may see a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.  In fact, according to researchers, Alzheimer’s may be a third type of diabetes.  The researchers examined insulin and the insulin receptor function in an area of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

The study compared the brain tissues of people who died at various stages of the disease.  Postmortem brain tissue of 45 patients with normal aging or different degrees of Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration, termed “Braak Stages” was examined.

The research conducted at the Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School discovered that the insulin receptors dropped off significantly in the brain even in the early stages of the disease.  The number of receptors continues to drop off as the disease progresses. 


The levels of insulin receptors in the brain decreased with the increased severity of the disease.  The lower levels of insulin receptors impaired the brain’s ability to respond to insulin.   Previous research found that Alzheimer’s patients were deficient in acetylcholine, a brain enzyme.  Insulin plays a role in the production of acetylcholine.

Insulin and IGF-I (insulin-like growth factor I) stimulate the expression of choline acetyltransferase (or ChAT).  ChAT is the enzyme responsible for making acetylcholine.  This shows a direct link between insulin and IGF-I deficiency and dementia.  The insulin “impairment” is linked to major neurotransmitters responsible for cognition. 

Acetylcholine carries the signals among the neurons and helps in the cognitive thinking process.  Without insulin the brain is unable to make acetylcholine.  This new finding could lead to a treatment to Alzheimer’s disease, especially if it is caught early.

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Footnote concerning IGF-I:  Cancer Biology reports that “IGF-I may facilitate cancer development though it likely does not cause cancer to form’.  More research is need to see what and if there is a connection.

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

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Keywords and misspellings:  diabetes diabets diabetic diabetec diabetic's alzymers alzeimers altimers altymers

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:40 PM