According to recent research, Alzheimer’s disease could be a third form of diabetes, rendering it essentially controlled by insulin levels.
The study, conducted at Northwestern University, could hold the key to why brain insulin signaling, a crucial part of retaining memeories, could be interrupted by Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s patients apparently have a type of toxic protein that removes insulin receptors from the nerve cells, making these neurons insulin resistant.
Brain insulin levels could be directly related to the disease. According to William L. Klei, a professor of neurobiology and physiology at the Weinberg College of Arts and Science, the following is true: “We found the binding of ADDLs to synapses somehow prevents insulin receptors from accumulating at the synapses where they are needed. Instead, they are piling up where they are made, in the cell body, near the nucleus. Insulin cannot reach receptors there. This finding is the first molecular evidence as to why nerve cells should become insulin resistant in Alzheimer’s disease .”
Klein reportedly continued: “We’re dealing with a fundamental new connection between two fields, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, and the implication is for therapeutics. We want to find ways to make those insulin receptors themselves resistant to the impact of ADDLs. And that might not be so difficult.”

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