Alzheimer's Disease Can Potentially Cause Diabetes

Alzheimer’s disease drugs could potentially be used to treat diabetes.

A new study suggests that diabetes drugs could be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease, with Alzheimer’s disease drugs potentially treating patients with diabetes.

Researchers in the study examined why these 2 diseases are both commonly found together in many elderly patients.

"Many people are unaware of the relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, but the fact is that around 80% of people with Alzheimer's disease also have some form of diabetes or disturbed glucose metabolism,” said researcher Bettina Platt, PhD. “This is hugely relevant as Alzheimer's is in the vast majority of cases not inherited, and lifestyle factors and comorbidities must therefore be to blame.”

The researchers also found that Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes are very similar, in that glucose-controlling drugs have the potential to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and alleviate the symptoms, according to a study published in Diabetologia.

Researchers found that dementia-related changes in the brain can lead to changes in glucose handling, which can lead to diabetes, which was previously thought only to occur from malfunction in the pancreas or liver, or due to poor diet.

It was discovered that dysregulation in the brain can cause diabetes just as severe as diabetes caused by a poor diet.

"This study provides a new therapeutic angle into Alzheimer's disease and we now think that some of the compounds that are used for obesity and diabetic deregulation might potentially be beneficial for Alzheimer's patients as well,” concluded Dr Platt. “The good news is that there are a number of new drugs available right now which we are testing to see if they would reverse both Alzheimer's and diabetes symptoms. We will also be able to study whether new treatments developed for Alzheimer's can improve both, the diabetic and cognitive symptoms."