Correlation between the two diseases – Diabetes and Alzheimer had been found by Melissa A. Schilling (Strategy and innovation expert at NYU Stern School of Business) as she had conducted a large scale research on that topic and despite conflicting report, she was able to conclude that in order to prevent and lessen the impact of the Alzheimer’s disease, one needs to avoid the excess insulin while supporting the robust levels of the insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) as her study had linked the evidence of insulin and IDE to Alzheimer’s disease.
Melissa’s research article was published in the ‘Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease’ and was titled ‘Unraveling Alzheimer’s: Making sense of the Relationship between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease’ and had summarised the contradictions as well as giving scope for further studies.
Till now, Alzheimer’s disease cannot be treated; but instead, the people affected by this condition are treated with drugs that improve the symptoms and provides relief to the patients to some extent.
Various studies had been done and all of them seem to have ended in contradictions itself. Some of them had blamed diabetes mellitus (type 2) while some had stated the primary cause as insulin deficiency with the remaining percent concluding their studies with hyperinsulinemia to be the main culprit.
According to Melissa’s studies, there is indeed a relationship between the three – insulin, insulin degrading enzyme and Alzheimer’s – and it is because of them hat there are multiple ways to the disease on where the defect occurs. Insulin up-regulates the IDE’s expression which leads to their decreased levels in a normal situation as it breaks them down. Research has shown that Aβ is broken down by IDE and its accumulation is one of the vital trademarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
She had found at least four different cycles that can lead to the disease – Alzheimer – and this cycle can also malfunction making it important for the cycle to be identified as early as possible and only then, the treatments are going to be effective.
Melissa had suggested that there is enough evidence which clearly indicates that tolerance for glucose should occur early and more often than not, obesity is linked to hyperinsulinemia and diabetes. Even identifying diabetes and pre-diabetes early (say, by testing A1c levels) can significantly lessen the two types of diabetes along with Alzheimer’s.
Melissa’s studies strongly suggests policy changes such as the glycemic index’s identification on food products; and she has rightly said that that awareness for hyperinsulinemia should be raised and especially among those, who are at risk or diagnosed with dementia as this will greatly reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and many other diabetes-related diseases.