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Researchers link Alzheimer's and diabetes

March 21, 2012
by Kevin Kolus
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Emerging research suggesting that Alzheimer's disease may be linked to insulin resistance and could eventually be considered a third type of diabetes was supported by two new articles published in the April 2 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

In the first study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania team examined insulin signaling in human brain tissue postmortem and concluded that many insulin signaling molecules are highly related to memory and cognitive function.

The researchers further suggested that insulin resistance is a common and early feature of Alzheimer's.

A second group of researchers from the University of Rio de Janeiro observed impaired insulin signaling in Alzheimer's brain tissue in rodent and non-human primate model systems. The study went on to show in a mouse model system of Alzheimer's that treatment with a new anti-diabetic drug normalized insulin signaling and improved cognitive function.

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What are the implications to care and design if Alzheimer's becomes Type 3 diabetes?

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