Oct
02
2007

Alzheimer's could be Type 3 diabetes

Alzheimer's disease, often called "old timers disease" effects about 1 in 5 people over age 80. Called dementia, the symptoms include problems with memory, thinking, behavior, and emotion.

Alzheimer's similar to diabetes

Researchers at Northwestern University think that the mechanism of Alzheimer's involves insulin receptors in brain cells. In the brain, insulin and insulin receptors are vital to learning and memory.

A toxic protein found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, rendering those neurons insulin resistant.
The protein, known to attack memory-forming synapses, is called an ADDL for "amyloid ß-derived diffusible ligand." Science Daily

William L. Klein, professor of neurobiology and physiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, said he believes the findings are a major factor in the memory deficiencies caused by ADDLs in Alzheimer's brains and reveals a fundamental new connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. This offers hope for therapeutics. Finding ways to make those insulin receptors themselves resistant to the impact of ADDLs. might not be so difficult.

Early detection of Alzheimer's Disease

Klein not only helped identify the bio-marker, ADDL, but also helped develop a technique to detect it in patients with early stage Alzheimer's using bio-bar-code amplification technology.

To detect ADDLs, a magnetic microparticle and a gold nanoparticle are each outfitted with an antibody specific to the ADDL antigen. When in solution, the antibodies “recognize” and bind to the ADDL, sandwiching the protein between the two particles. Fienberg School of Medicine

After the “particle-ADDL-particle” sandwich is removed magnetically from solution, the bar-code DNA is removed from the sandwich and read using standard DNA detection methodologies. The researchers next would like to develop the technology so that the test could be done using a blood or urine sample instead of cerebrospinal fluid, which is more difficult to obtain.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My wife is suffering from memory loss. She is forgetting things of simple nature and recent events. She is losing things all day. Her age is 63 as of May 2007. Her family has a history of diabetes. Six years ago
she had a tumor removed from her pancreas. 15 years ago, her previous husband put her in a hospital
for electric shock treatments. Three years ago, she was given a cognitive test which showed that after
a certain time period the scores go way down in remembering things she could remember early in the
test. She has been told by a doctor that she is salt deficient. She has chronic colon problems. I'm afraid
she is developing early symptoms of Alzheimer's. Her condition is worsening at a more rapid rate than
ever before. The physical presentation leads me to believe she could benefit from Avandia or some other
means of getting insulin to her brain cells. I would appreciate any suggestions.

posted on Sun, 12/16/2007 - 12:11am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

I sympathize with your wanting to do more than just "take her to a doctor". Trying to figure out what is best for a loved one ,or yourself, is difficult. How can one presume to second guess the treatment plan of a health care professional with perhaps ten years of training and experience.

There are on line communities, though, that may be useful to you. I described one just last week in this Science Buzz Blog post titled Health 2.0.

posted on Sun, 12/16/2007 - 12:36pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options