Diabetes Of The Brain?

8 Oct

Alzheimer’s and diabetes? Could there be a connection? After all, people with diabetes have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. So do those who have insulin resistance but not yet diabetes.
Insulin allows your cells to take up glucose from the blood stream and use it as fuel for your muscles or to be stored in fat cells. If you have insulin resistance, the glucose can’t easily enter cells, and blood sugar starts to rise. If it gets high enough, you have diabetes.
This year, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania showed for the first time that insulin resistance is also present in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
“Our research clearly shows that the brain’s ability to respond to insulin, which is important for normal brain function, is going offline at some point,” says Steven Arnold, director of the Penn Memory Center.
“We believe that brain insulin resistance may be an important contributor to the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”
In May, the National Institutes of Health announced a five-year study to see if insulin inhaled through the nose–that way it’s delivered directly to the brain–can slow the decline of patients with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s disease. That’s what happened in a pilot trail in similar people in 2011
Source: Nutrition Action Healthletter September 2012

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