Diabetes is known to be associated with increasing the risk of illness throughout the body. It has been implicated in conditions as disparate as heart disease and foot ulcers. But growing evidence links it to a disease that makes the scourge of diabetes truly span head to toe: Alzheimer’s. The two diseases appear to be related even in their mildest forms: Not only is Type 2 Diabetes associated with Alzheimer’s, but pre-diabetes is associated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Studies have recently uncovered at least one specific insulin receptor pathway that is associated with the brain pathologies present in the Alzheimer’s brain.
Now, a new study takes this research one step further, showing that this connection may have immediate clinical implications. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, has confirmed that taking medication for diabetes is associated with fewer brain changes at the molecular level in people with Alzheimer’s.
Prof. Vahram Haroutunian, one of the study’s authors, notes that this new method of treatment may prove more successful than others. “Most modern Alzheimer’s treatments target amyloid plaques and haven’t succeeded in effectively treating the disease,” he said. Of special promise here is that the diabetes medications are already approved by the FDA, and are already known to be safe.
At Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, we follow Alzheimer’s research with great interest, and take pride in our Alzheimer’s Unit. While effective medications for Alzheimer’s and other dementias are still in the future, we know that we are doing everything currently available to help our memory-impaired residents maximize their cognitive function, and enhance their enjoyment of life.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.