Alzheimer’s May Lead to Diabetes by Impairing Insulin Signaling in the Brain, New Research Finds

Alzheimer’s May Lead to Diabetes by Impairing Insulin Signaling in the Brain, New Research Finds
Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are more likely to develop diabetes due to an impairment in insulin signaling in the brain, according to a new study titled "Increased susceptibility to metabolic dysregulation in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease is associated with impaired hypothalamic insulin signaling and elevated BCAA levels," published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia. In the past, epidemiological studies supported the hypothesis that diabetes patients have an enhanced risk of developing Alzheimer's. But this new study, developed at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, shows the reverse may be happening. Alzheimer's disease is a debilitating, progressive neurodegenerative disorder, and the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. It gradually causes dementia in the elderly by reducing their memory and their ability to carry out daily activities. Diabetes, on the other hand, is a metabolic disease that, due to an insufficient insulin production, induces high blood sugar levels. Icahn researchers have found that mouse models of Alzheimer's disease develop insulin resistance in an area of the hypothalamus that regulates the metabolism of nutrients like amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose. The study also revealed that mice with Alzheimer's had higher levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) in the blood, previously demonstrated to be regulated by insulin signaling in the brain. Although further confirmation in humans is still necessary, such findings suggest that BCAAs may be a bio
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