Diabetes May Raise Alzheimer's Risk
While studies have found diabetes may be linked Alzheimer’s disease, the connection hasn’t been clear. Now, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, that connection may lie in insulin resistance. The results suggests that insulin resistance deprives the brain of sugar needed for normal cognitivie function. This may not only act as a clear indication of diabetes, but also be a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
150 people with healthy cognitive function were evaluated for the study. All were participants of an Alzheimer’s disease research project in Wisconsin, with two-thirds having a parents with the disease, 40 percent possessing the gene, APOE -a known link to Alzheimer’s- and 7 people living with diabetes. They found that people with the APOE gene and higher insulin resistance, had lower levels of insulin processing - while people with parents who developed Alzheimer’s did not. They also discovered those with higher blood sugar levels also had significantly lower levels of insulin processing in regions of the brain affecting memory.
While the study cannot show insulin resistance causes Alzheimer’s, it does highlight a promising link to be further researched. Researchers and experts stress that lifestyle choices are important when it comes to not just physical, but mental health, as well as to not rely on insulin to prevent memory decline.