Alzheimer’s Linked to Diabetes
Diabetes affects every part of the body. This is because it is a metabolic disorder that affects how the body metabolizes and manages sugars. Abnormal levels of glucose in the blood can damage blood vessels and nerves, among other kinds of tissues. This results in widespread complication throughout the whole system.
The brain is one of the many organs that can be affected negatively by diabetes. Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people around the world and is steadily growing. It is a currently irreversible disease that results in dementia and severe memory loss. Alzheimer’s can be devastating for a patient, causing him to lose his identity completely and become alienated from his life, family, and society. The exact mechanisms of Alzheimer’s are still are quite complicated, as it also involves neurotransmitters and complex brain chemistry.
Studies have found that patients with type 2 diabetes, or diabetes associated with insulin resistance, are at a higher risk for Alzheimer’s than the general population. This is because patients with type 2 diabetes tend to develop plaques in the brain that have been associated with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s and diabetes are two diseases that are rapidly affecting more and more people all over the world. This is also linked to the rates of obesity, which have been steadily growing in the last decades. Obesity is strongly related to a number of disorders, with the main one of these being diabetes. In fact, it is hard to separate diabetes from obesity, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. These tend to go together in most of the population, mostly due to a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet.
In a series of studies that ran for about two decades, researchers in Japan found a correlation between Alzheimer’s and diabetes. After examining the brains of patients that had suffered from Alzheimer’s, while at the same time being diabetic, researchers found plaques. While only a relatively low percentage showed Alzheimer’s, at around sixteen percent, almost three quarters of patients with insulin resistance showed plaques. The results of several blood sugar tests no the test subjects suggests that people with insulin resistance that scored poorly on these tests were more likely to have the risk factors for Alzheimer’s.
Further studies are still necessary, as the exact mechanisms of both of these extremely complex diseases are still not understood completely. However, the possibility of a link between insulin resistance and the forming of plaques could shed some light on possible ways to prevent or predict Alzheimer’s before it is progresses for early diagnosis. It could also help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s in diabetic patients. As it is, diabetes already has some extremely grave complications, the most severe of these being kidney failure, stroke, blindness, and amputation due to necrosis. These studies add one more thing for diabetic patients to worry about. However, they also give hope for the future. Understanding both of these diseases and their possible links could shed some light on many of the mechanisms and pathways in which diabetes operates.
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