Many studies have linked diabetes with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and now a team of investigators appears to have found direct experimental evidence connecting the conditions.
“Our study identifies emergence of AD pathology in brain and retina as a major consequence of diabetes, implicating dysfunctional insulin signaling in late-onset AD, and a potential relationship between amyloid beta-derived neurotoxins and retinal degeneration in aging and diabetes, as well as AD,” the authors wrote in a study published online on July 11, 2012, in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The researchers sought to determine how diabetes instigates late-onset AD. They examined diabetic rabbits displaying AD-type pathology for 15 weeks. After this time, investigators observed a diabetes-induced buildup of amyloid beta oligomers in the brains and retinas of the animals. Oligomers are the neurotoxins thought to cause memory loss in AD.
Another study, published in the April 2, 2012, edition of Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that the characteristics of type 2 diabetes, including abnormal glucose use, metabolic dysregulation, and insulin resistance or deficiency, are seen in the early stage of AD independent of type 2 diabetes.
The new study’s findings may have important implications for future investigation of AD pathogenesis, diagnostics, and therapeutics.
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