Certain genetic risk factors could put patients with type 2 diabetes at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.
A research team from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai used findings from a recent genome wide association study (GWAS) to assess if any common genetic factors are shared by type 2 diabetes (T2D) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
GWAS examined if one or more variations in genetic code across a population are found in traits such as a high risk of disease.
The researchers identified that there were multiple genetic differences in single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that led to increased susceptibility to developing type 2 as well as Alzheimer’s disease.
Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, said: “Many of these SNPs are traced to genes whose anomalies are known to contribute to T2D and AD, suggesting that certain diabetic patients with these genetic differences are at high risk for developing Alzheimer’s.”
Earlier this month, the severity of type 2 diabetes-related complications was linked to an increased risk of dementia, and these findings add further weight to the link between the two.
Pasinetti’s findings will support further research into genetic susceptibility in type 2 patients developing Alzheimer’s disease. Their aim is to design a treatment that could benefit type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

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