The growing problem of Alzheimer’s disease took its toll on American citizens over the last decade. Based on the latest research, it seems that type 2 diabetes might be linked to Alzheimer’s.
A team of scientists from the Aberdeen University discovered that the brain affected by dementia is unable to help the body handle glucose normally.
Until now, scientists believed that diabetes is caused only by an unhealthy diet or a malfunction in the pancreas. It seems like Alzheimer’s can be a leading cause as well.
Thanks to this breakthrough, researchers speculate that the medical treatment used to treat one disease might also tackle the other one. According to Professor Mirela Delibegovic and Professor Bettina Platt, lead researchers of the study, the target of the research was to establish why type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease are so often found together in senior patients.
The secret lies in the fact these patients had high levels of a gene, known as BACE1, which leads to the development of sticky toxic plaques in the brain that cause not just Alzheimer’s disease but also type 2 diabetes.
According to Platt, about 80 percent of Alzheimer’s patients suffer from diabetes or at least a type of disturbed glucose metabolism. Until this study was released, experts thought that overweight people develop type 2 diabetes and only then, they become more vulnerable to dementia as well.
Nevertheless, it appears that the process is exactly the opposite. Fortunately, scientists have doubled their efforts, and they started to test new types of treatments that aim to tackle both diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
According to Dr. Emily Burns, from Diabetes UK, it is true that type 2 diabetes makes a person more likely to develop dementia, but it is still not known yet why diabetes makes people more vulnerable to a brain disease.
Further research is needed in order to understand this mystery and to come up with a solid plan to deal with this problem. The statistics showed that 850,000 UK citizens suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and by 2050 the number will increase to two million.
It means that one in three people who will be born in 2016 will eventually suffer from dementia. Worse, this brain condition is the leading health problem for people over 55 years old. However, there is a drug, known as liraglutide, which might be effective in treating both type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Image Source:West Info