Body and mind

Persons with Alzheimer's prone to diabetes: Study

White Swan Foundation

A person with Alzheimer's disease or even early forms of dementia can develop diabetes, says a study conducted by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.

The study, funded by National Institute of Health, USA, was conducted on mice with Alzheimer's disease. It was found that Alzheimer's was damaging the insulin signaling system in hypothalamus, the portion of the brain that is responsible for regulating metabolism of nutrients such as fatty acids, glucose, amino acids in tissues of muscle, liver and fat. This makes the person with Alzheimer's disease prone to diabetes. The findings also showed elevated levels of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) which is regulated by the brain insulin signaling.

“This is the first study to suggest that Alzheimer’s disease pathology increases susceptibility to diabetes due to impaired insulin signaling in the hypothalamus,” said Christoph Buettner, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes, Bone Disease and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and lead author of the study. Read the full study here.

White Swan Foundation