An analysis of past studies has shed further light on the underlying link between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D).
Scientists have identified several common denominators of AD and T2D, including impaired glucose/energy metabolism, altered insulin-signalling pathways, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
In one study, Daniel Kopf and Lutz Frolich reviewed 14 studies that examined the risk of incident Alzheimer's disease in diabetic patients, and found that the risk ratios were greater than one with four studies showing statistically significant excess risk.
Another study involving almost 200 subjects with either mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or with AD, lead researchers Pablo Toro, Peter Schonknecht, and Johannes Schroder found an increased tendency for type 2 diabetes.
Paula I. Moreira and colleagues Ana I. Duarte, Maria S. Santos, A. Cristina Rego, and Catarina R. Oliveira focussed on the role of oxidative stresses and the development of AD.
They identified the processes underlying the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, including impaired glucose/energy metabolism, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and altered insulin-signaling pathways.
Another study led by V. Prakash Reddy revealed how oxidative stress plays a major role in diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and other related neurological diseases.
The study has shown that advanced glycation end products and lipid peroxidation products are ubiquitous to diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, and serve as markers of disease progression in both disorders.
Allan Jones, Philipp Kulozik, Anke Ostertag, and Stephan Herzig reviewed common metabolic and inflammatory processes implicated in the pathogenesis of both T2D and AD in their study.
They emphasized on the role of critical transcriptional checkpoints in the control of cellular metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation. The researchers hope that these transcriptional regulators might hold great promise as new therapeutic targets in the potentially combined treatment of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
The findings appear in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.