The topic of this weeks neruochem discussion was based on the article “Possible implications of insulin resistane and glucose metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis”. This article was based on recent research that has found links between diabetes, insulin resistance, and Alzheimer’s disease. This connection was not obvious to me until we anylized and discussed this article in class. A lot of people, like myself, do not associate insulin to the brain. Everytime I thought of insulin I thought of diabetes and blood glucose levels. It is fascinating to note that insulin plays a huge role in the brain and is very important for proper brain funcions. Insulin is a horomone that is released that tells your body to start absorbing glucose when the levels become too high (usually when we consume a large amount of food). Studies have shown that insulin is largely produced in the brain and if not regulated properly can have major effects on one’s central nervous system. The main receptor talked about in this article was the IGF-1 receptor that response to the release of insulin to regulate many neurological functions. These include things like learning and memory, longevity, and homeostasis. So why is there a connection to Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disorder that involves nurological degradation and massive memory loss. How does it happen?
1. Amyloid Precursor proteins or APP’s are cut by enzymes in the brain to produce AB proteins.
2. Abnormal folding of the AB proteins happens.
3. This causese aggrigation from AB proteins.
4. Amyloid Beta plaques are formed in the brain from this aggrigation.
5. Brain deterioration or Alzheimer’s disease occurs as well as massive inflamation in the brain.
This brain inflamation is the key connection between insulin resistance, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because high levels of insulin in the brain can contribute to more inflammation in the brain which can casue oxidative stress. If a person is experienceing higher levels of insulin in the brain because of the injections they take for diagnosed diabetes, then it can be a precursor for the formation of amyloid plaques and ultimately Alzheimer’s disease in a person. Type 2 diabetes is found to be diagnosed more and more in America especially at younger ages. This is becuase of the way American’s eat and exersize. We are in such a fast pace society that eating very unhealthy foods in large quantities is becomeing easier and cheaper. People also tend to be more focused on their careers and success than caring about their diet and exersize. This could lead to higher obesity rates as well as a lot more people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. If diabetes is a precursor for Alzheimer’s disease than we could be looking at younger generations developing Alzheimer’s.
Yes Alzheimer’s disease is being researched a lot, but there is still no cure for this terrifying disease that eats away at the brain. Americans should be mindful about what they are eating, how they are living their lives, and what is healthy. If we can prevent obesity and diabetes starting at a young age then, based on this article, we could be delaying or preventing the development of Alzheimers in some individuals.