Scientists are gaining greater insights into Alzheimer’s disease every day. It’s a devastating disease that is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. Most doctors understand this disease as untreatable and genetically-based. However, Alzheimer’s has a strong link with another illness that impacts approximately 40 million Americans: diabetes.
Individuals with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have considerable resistance to insulin. Type 1 is caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin, and Type 2 is caused by the deterioration of the body’s insulin receptors and is associated with the consumption of too many refined carbohydrates like processed grains and sugar.
However, studies in 2005 and later began to discover correlations between insulin and brain cell deterioration. This led researchers down another new, promising path toward Alzheimer’s prevention. Is Alzheimer’s a form of diabetes? Researchers are asking that question.
Over 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. We know that diabetics are at least twice as likely to develop dementia. The cells of your brain can become insulin-resistant just like other cells in the body. The accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques characteristic in the Alzheimer’s brain may now be linked with the same lack of insulin that negatively affects cognition.
Finding the true underlying causes of disease is a huge step toward developing treatment and prevention. With Alzheimer’s especially prevention is crucial. Current research suggests that addressing the problems surrounding insulin and brain cell death may be a useful prevention method to help restore and retain the brain’s cell function.
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