A new study from the journal Diabetologia states that diabetes and Alzheimer’s are connected far more closely than previously believed.  Dementia-related complications in the brain can lead to changes in how the body handles glucous, which ultimately leads to diabetes.  These two diseases are related so closely that the same drugs used to control diabetes might alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

From past caregiver news roundups, we showed that Alzheimer’s and diabetes were related.  But how they are related is what the study is about.  It was previously thought that diabetes came first then Alzheimer’s, but this study is showing the opposite can occur.

Originally, we thought a person gets Alzheimer’s then dementia.  What this leads researchers to want to study more is, if these two diseases are so related then is what causes them related as well?  It is now looking like diabetes can originate in the brain.  This study also makes you consider if these two diseases are both diet related.  If not, do diets contribute to the severity of Alzheimer’s?


Diabetes and Alzheimer's

Diabetes and Alzheimer’s: What We Know

The vast majority of diabetes cases are because of too much fat and sugar in one’s diet.  Should we start to suspect that Alzheimer’s might be caused or possibly worsened because of one’s diet?  Is this a diet-related disease just like diabetes and heart disease?   Professor Plate, who lead the research study, seems to be intrigued about this as well:

 “Many people are unaware of the relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, but the fact is that around 80% of people with Alzheimer’s disease also have some form of diabetes or disturbed glucose metabolism. This is hugely relevant as Alzheimer’s is in the vast majority of cases not inherited, and lifestyle factors and comorbidities must therefore be to blame.

“Our research teams are particularly interested in the impact of lifestyle related factors in dementia and by collaborating with experts in diabetes and metabolism, we have been able to investigate the nature of the link in great detail.

“Until now, we always assumed that obese people get type 2 diabetes and then are more likely to get dementia — we now show that actually it also works the other way around.

“Additionally, it was previously believed that diabetes starts in the periphery, i.e. the pancreas and liver, often due to consumption of an unhealthy diet, but here we show that dysregulation in the brain can equally lead to development of very severe diabetes — so again showing that diabetes doesn’t necessarily have to start with your body getting fat — it can start with changes in the brain.

Wrapping It Up

More  studies will need to be done to see if there is a correlation between these two diseases.  In the meantime, try to change your diet and the food you eat as it can only help.  As we learn more we will find out how diabetes and Alzheimer’s is connected and hopefully how to treat it.

If you are interested in more diet related news, read out monthly Caregiver New Roundup article.  In it, we feature all the most important news related to seniors for that month.