A Connection from Type 2 Diabetes to Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is well known neurodegenerative disorder that affects many people all over the world. Popular media and modern science has made it clear that there is a clear connection between type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Furthermore, new research presented in the article, Possible Implications of insulin resistance and glucose metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis has shed some light on the connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. In my personal experience, with most of the elder’s in my family having type 2 diabetes, I have learned that diabetes is a frightful monster than can lead to a plethora of health complications but I have never understood it well. Until this article, I was unaware of insulin’s essential roles in the brain. For example, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) has been found to be essential in the proliferation of cells and the regulation of glucose metabolism. Right now, you might be thinking, “what in the world is this guy saying? I don’t get the connection.” My answer:  stay calm you must my young padawan.

One of many key links between these two diseases is INFLAMMATION. If you have too little insulin, this will cause an increase in an inflammatory response and an increase in oxidative stress. This will lead to apoptosis and the destruction of the synapses in the brain. Furthermore, decreased insulin will lead to decreased norepinephrine and eventually, decreased cognitive function. Insulin’s ability to regulate inflammatory responses in the brain is critical in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

As time has passed in our nation, processed foods and high fat diets are more and more common. Type 2 diabetes has quickly become one of the most concerning diseases in the young American public. If this connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s becomes a legitimate concept, we could potentially see a spike in Alzheimer’s disease occurrences along with early onset of the disease.

This is some scary stuff, right? I find that new research like this is terrifying but I realize that not that many people actually care. People have known that diabetes comes with a cornucopia of health complications but the American public has failed to do anything about it. Diet plays a large role in the development of diabetes and I believe that is where we start our assault on diabetes and ultimately Alzheimer’s disease. Prevention of diabetes has never been more important than now. With more and more research being published about this connection, we risk the health of many Americans if nothing is done to correct the diets of our society. Obviously, Alzheimer’s disease is a multifaceted disorder but people can learn to minimize their risk by properly regulating their diets.