Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Researchers deem Alzheimer's a Type 3 diabetes


My grandmother was diabetic, my sister is diabetic and my mother suffers from Alzheimer's.

Sometimes it's better if great minds don't think alike. Neurobiologists with decidedly different interests recently collaborated at Northwestern University and came up with new evidence about Alzheimer's disease, a form of dementia that affects about 5 million Americans. They now consider it a Type 3 diabetes.
This team studied healthy nerve cells from the brain's hippocampus region, growing in culture dishes, and they observed abundant insulin receptors. "If you look closely at a high-resolution [image], you'll see that they are at synapses," Klein said. "Before we added the ADDLs [toxins], they all had insulin receptors." But with the toxin added to the culture dishes, "the insulin receptors disappeared from their surfaces."
"[Klein's work] is like finding the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle,"
"[Researchers] are looking at drugs that are given to Type 2 diabetics that increase the ability of cells to respond to insulin. It makes the insulin receptors more abundant or more lively."
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