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Could Alzheimer's be a form of diabetes?
November 30, 2005 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Could Alzheimer's be a form of diabetes?
Well, I'm not looking forward to taking those insulin shots....via Medgadget
posted by lilboo (11 comments total)

 
I thought it was better understood that Alzheimer's fell into a category of protein accumulation neurodegeneration diseases, where malformed mutant proteins collect and become toxic to the point where they destroy targeted portions of the brain, leading to specific pathologies.

Perhaps there is a mechanism where cells with said insulin receptors are destroyed or have altered expression because of amyloid precursors. Is there a link to the journal article or other research?
posted by Rothko at 8:23 AM on November 30, 2005


Rothko: Here's what appears to be the Pubmed citation. There's a link there to the full-text article, but I can't access it from the house to take full assessment of the findings.
It looks like the senior researcher, Suzanne M. de la Monte, is a big player in researching the relationship between Alzheimer's disease and insulin. For more, go to pubmed.com and search for Monte SM and from the subject lines, you can see a lot of her work has to do with the two (pubmed is a great repository for published bio-science articles has a different naming system than most are used to).
posted by jmd82 at 8:37 AM on November 30, 2005


Could Alzheimer's be a form of diabetes? I have not read the publication, but probably not. First off there is no cause/effect relationship as described in the data. Second, mutations that predispose one to Alzheimer's and mutations that result in early onset Alzheimer's are not related to insulin. Finally, I assume a finding like this, if supported by quality data would be published in a more prestegious journal than the "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease". An interesting finding nontheless. I'd be suprised if it has not been looked at, but one could do some epidemiology to determine if people taking different diabetes theaputics have a lowered incedence of Alzheimer's.
posted by batou_ at 8:40 AM on November 30, 2005


I have not read the publication, but probably not. First off there is no cause/effect relationship as described in the data....one could do some epidemiology to determine if people taking different diabetes theaputics have a lowered incedence of Alzheimer's.

Well, they did say this:

"There is now increasing evidence primarily from observational studies that diabetes, its predecessor metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance are implicated in increasing risk for Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Hugh C. Hendrie. He is a professor of psychiatry and co-director of the Center for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders at Indiana University Center for Aging Research, in Indianapolis.

Which seems to indicated that they at least did some research. It's posible that the genes for brain insulin might be somewhat diffrent then those involved in the body's insulin production.
posted by delmoi at 9:11 AM on November 30, 2005


There were a lot of posters at the latest Society for Neuroscience meeting this month about the links between insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling and cognitive function. Unfortunately, they are all preliminary data so I can't cite any references here.

Insulin-like growth factor is well known to be neuroprotective, and binding of IGF-I to its receptor activates a number of targets that cross talk with the insulin receptor.

It's posible that the genes for brain insulin might be somewhat diffrent then those involved in the body's insulin production.

More likely the insulin receptors or their downstream signaling pathways.

Anyways, it looks like a valid line of research. I'll have a dig through my notes from the conference and see if I find anything interesting.

[I'm a post-doc working on IGF-I signaling in the brain]
posted by gaspode at 9:23 AM on November 30, 2005


Given that the two known types of diabetes have dramatically different mechanisms, I don't see why this couldn't also fall under the same general rubric due to the insulin angle.

I assume a finding like this, if supported by quality data would be published in a more prestegious journal than the "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease".

I dunno, I think this falls more in the category of "intriguing research angle" than JAMA headliner.

The best news about this is that it suggests that insulin management could be a key part of treatment and prevention. That is very good (preliminary) news to those with Alzheimer's in their family.
My dad, and my uncle. I hope I have more than 25 years left.
posted by dhartung at 9:39 AM on November 30, 2005


i hope this pans out. alzheimer's terrifies me.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:29 AM on November 30, 2005


This book references a lot of fairly convincing peer-reviewed work in it and seems to show that a lot of the "Alzheimer's" being reported is in fact CJD ("Mad Cow Disease"). I found it pretty convincing...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:09 AM on November 30, 2005


This illuminating exposé of the threat to our nation's health reveals for the first time how Mad Cow Disease (a.k.a. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) has jumped species, infecting humans in the form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), and may be hidden in the enormous increase in the number of Alzheimer's cases since 1979.

I thought feeding cattle with parts of cattle (including putatively infected brain stem) was a relatively recent, cost-cutting agricultural practice (like, late 80s, early 90s)?
posted by Rothko at 11:59 AM on November 30, 2005


I read it may be caused by plaque-like deposits in the brain. And people who take statins for heart disease tend not to develop alzheimer's.
posted by wfc123 at 3:47 PM on November 30, 2005


And people who take statins for heart disease tend not to develop alzheimer's.

is that all cholesterol-lowering agents or only statins? interesting question because statins putatively have anti-inflammatory effects. inflammation may be the biggest culprit in many, many diseases.
posted by brandz at 8:35 PM on November 30, 2005


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