Alzheimer's, Insulin Resistance Linked

FUKUOKA, Japan, Aug. 27 (UPI) — A researcher in Japan has linked insulin resistance in diabetes and the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Lead author Dr. Kensuke Sasaki of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, said more studies are needed to determine if insulin resistance — the stage before diabetes, when insulin, a hormone, becomes less effective in lowering blood sugar — may help cause these plaques.

“It’s possible that by controlling or preventing diabetes, we might also be helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease,” Sasaki said in a statement.

The study, published in Neurology, found people with abnormal results on three tests of blood sugar control had an increased risk of developing plaques. Plaques were found in 72 percent of people with insulin resistance and 62 percent of people with no indication of insulin resistance.

Sasaki and colleagues had 135 people with an average age of 67 from Hisayama, Japan, take diabetes glucose tests to measure blood sugar levels. The study participants were also monitored for symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease during the next 10 to 15 years and about 16 percent developed the disease.

After a study participant died, the researchers examined the brain for signs of the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

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