It’s almost impossible to go throughout your life without hearing about a loved one or a loved one of a friend going through Alzheimer’s Disease. Aside from early onset AD, it is pretty difficult to look at this disease and say that age has nothing to do with it. This, of course, is true because a lot of the machinery that goes wrong in this condition doesn’t just happen right away (in most cases). For instance, think about one of the most common culprits pointed out in Alzheimer’s which is Amyloid Beta. This protein is not one that just simply pops up in your cells when you are born. Amyloid beta is a protein that slowly builds up throughout our lives and it’s really a shot in the dark whether it will hit a point that will begin to exacerbate the issues that lead to Alzheimer’s.
Something that is concerning is the association between insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s Disease. I found in several articles that insulin plays an important role in neuromodulation within the neurons in our brains. Insulin has a role in regulating the amount of Amyloid Beta within our neurons. In people that have type II diabetes, they have a resistance to insulin, requiring more insulin to be circulated throughout their bodies to regulate their blood sugar. The concerning part of this is that in our brains we have an enzyme called Insulin Degrading Enzyme, IDE, which is responsible for the degradation of insulin within our cells. Secondarily, IDE is responsible for clearing out Amyloid Beta from our cells. In the case of a Type II diabetic, there is an overabundance of insulin to account for the resistance which results in competing for the activity of IDE leading to a long-term buildup of Amyloid beta without the ability to clear it up which IDE would do in bodies that have normal insulin capabilities. This finding points to a possibility that type II diabetics are at a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those that don’t have it.
The takeaway point from this is that if you do have type II diabetes you are not guaranteed to develop AD. The nice part about the human body is that if you treat it well, it will respond with performing at its best. If you are able to monitor your blood sugar regularly and keep your body from overusing insulin, there is a good chance you will be able to fight off the cognitive decline that comes with Alzheimer’s.