French researchers have created a model that allows the relationship between diabetes and Alzheimers diseases to be investigated at different stages of development.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and is closely linked with type 2 diabetes, which is known to be a significant risk factor. The relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer’s is so vast that the term “type 3 diabetes” has been proposed for Alzheimer’s which results from insulin resistance in the brain.
Scientists at the University of Cadiz aimed to evaluate how type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes affect the central nervous system.
To do this, they created laboratory-generated animal models and genetically engineered them to different ages. Researcher Juan José Ramos-Rodríguez said: “These are the results of crossing diabetes models with Alzheimer models in order to determine how both diseases advance in different stages.”
The researchers analysed how low levels of insulin in type 1 diabetes and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes negatively contributed to vascular dementia and significantly worsened developed of Alzheimer’s.
The development of amyloid beta – a protein which can be found in the brain plaques of Alzheimer’s patients – is a key trigger in the onset of the disease. Ramos-Rodriguez added that these two neuropathological features “generate a major phosphorylation in tau protein leading to soluble and more toxic forms of amyloid beta.”
The research team explained that insulin has a window which must be perfectly monitored and “if you are not within those levels, the central nervous system starts having troubles.”
By creating these new models, Cadiz scientists are studying the relationship between dementia and diabetes in different stages of evolution.
Their next aim is to experiment with different therapeutic options to assess if some of the stages can be interfered with, to limit the negative effects of both diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
This research was published in the Molecular Neurobiology review journal and Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Top diabetes professor drafts risk assessment document for frontline COVID-19 staff

The health and wellbeing of frontline NHS staff has been prioritised among…

Twice daily dairy intakes could reduce type 2 diabetes risk

Eating cheese, yoghurt or eggs twice a day could help lower the…

Conversation about doctors’ appointments occurring virtually rumbles on

More than half of GP appointments are still being delivered remotely in…