Is Alzheimer's disease a form of diabetes?
A fascinating new study in the November issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests just that.
In fact, researchers propose a new term, "Type 3 Diabetes," to reflect their findings that shows insulin production in the brain declines as the disease progresses.
"Insulin disappears early and dramatically in Alzheimer's disease," researcher Suzanne M. de la Monte, professor of pathology at Brown Medical School, said in a news release.
What's more, de la Monte notes is that "many of the unexplained features of Alzheimer's, such as cell death and tangles in the brain, appear to be linked to abnormalities in insulin signaling. This demonstrates that the disease is most likely a neuroendocrine disorder, or another type of diabetes," Steven Reinberg of HealthDay reports.
"And many of the unexplained features of Alzheimer's, such as cell death and tangles in the brain, appear to be linked to abnormalities in insulin signaling. This demonstrates that the disease is most likely a neuroendocrine is another type of diabetes," she adds.
This study -- which also shows that insulin receptors were 80 percent lower than in a normal brain at during the most advanced stage of Alzheimer's -- could prove groundbreaking.
In fact, researcher de la Monte believes her findings have "important implications for treatment. If you c could target the disease early, you could prevent the further loss of neurons. But you would have to target not just the loss of insulin but the resistance of its receptors in the brain."
This certainly sounds intriguing.
Read the HealthDay story for more intriguing info about the Alzheimer's-diabetes connection.