Type 2 diabetes may have links to Alzheimer’s, study reveals

NEW YORK Those with Type 2 diabetes may be at greater risk of developing the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggested.

According to a Japanese study, which appeared in the Aug. 25 online issue of the journal Neurology, those individuals with the highest levels of insulin resistance had nearly six times the odds of developing plaque deposits between the nerves in the brain, after adjusting for other risk factors, compared with those with the lowest levels of fasting insulin.

The researchers had adjusted the data to control for age, sex, blood pressure, cholesterol, body-mass index, smoking, exercise and cerebrovascular disease.

"Research has been linking diabetes to dementia, and probably to Alzheimer's, and this study is one more bit of evidence to say that we'd better get a handle on this," Richard Bergenstal, president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association, was quoted as saying in a HealthDay News report on the study’s findings.

Bergenstal also was quoted as saying that the study’s findings are likely applicable to people with both Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes, and perhaps even those with prediabetes.

This study included specimens from a series of 135 autopsies (74 men and 61 women) of residents of the town of Hisayama, Japan, performed between 1998 and 2003, who underwent an oral glucose tolerance test in clinical examinations in 1988.

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