A new study has claimed to have identified a link between type 2 diabetes and a gene responsible for the development of Alzheimers disease, a condition thought to affect around 820,000 people in the UK.
Scientists from the City College of New York in the United States have found more evidence for diabetics being at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, based on a gene involved in how insulin is processed. The research, published in the journal Genetics, examined a gene similar to the one involved in processing of amyloid proteins in the form of Alzheimer’s disease that is hereditary, showing some mutations.
It is known that one of the main indicators of Alzheimer’s are sticky plaques of amyloid protein in parts of the brain that have been damaged by the condition. The gene was seen to affect the chemical reactions that are part of its production and processing of insulin.
Chris Li, who led the research, said “People with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of dementia. The insulin pathways are involved in many metabolic processes, including helping to keep the nervous system healthy.”
As Marie Janson from the dementia charity Alzheimer’s Research UK also commented “studies are now needed to discover whether the equivalent gene in people has the same effect, and exactly what mechanisms may be involved.”

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