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(Reuters) - People with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop plaques in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease, researchers in Japan reported on Thursday.

The study involved 135 elderly participants in the town of Hisayama, Fukuoka prefecture, who had their blood sugar levels checked several times at the start of the study. They were then monitored for signs of Alzheimer's disease for 10 to 15 years.

After they died, researchers conducted autopsies on their brains and found plaques, particularly in those who had high blood sugar levels while they were alive.

"It is possible that adequate control of diabetes in midlife may contribute to ... prevention of Alzheimer's disease," wrote lead researcher Kensuke Sasaki at Kyushu University in Fukuoka in an email reply to Reuters.

Prevalence of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease are soaring around the world due to growing obesity and people living longer lives, but most healthcare systems are ill equipped to handle such chronic illnesses.

Twenty-one participants, or 16 percent, developed Alzheimer's disease before they died and plaques were found in all of their brains. But the autopsies also found plaques in other participants who had abnormally high blood sugar levels.

Plaques were found in 72 percent of people with insulin resistance and 62 percent of those with no indication of insulin resistance, the researchers wrote.

"The point is that insulin resistance may possibly accelerate plaque pathology (development)," Sasaki wrote.

Insulin resistance is the stage before diabetes and it occurs when insulin, a hormone in the body, becomes less effective in lowering blood sugar.

A few studies in the past explored the relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer's, but findings were inconsistent and it was never certain which was the cause and which the result.

But this study has the longest observation period so far and the researchers said it was more likely that insulin resistance or diabetes resulted in Alzheimer's disease.

(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Ron Popeski)


NOTES ON MERCOLA'S COMMENTS
Alzheimer’s tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in 2005
pancreas is not the only organ that produces insulin; brain does too
brain insulin helps brain cells survive
low insulin in body assoc with better health, opposite appears true in brain
drop in insulin in brain-->brain cell degeneration
low levels of insulin and insulin receptors in brain-->probably has alzheimers
2004 study: people with diabetes have a 65% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease

recent Japanese study
insulin resistance and/or diabetes appear to accelerate the development of plaque in your brain
very long observation period: 10-15 yrs

previous research has found strong correlations btw
body mass index (BMI) and high levels of beta-amyloid (which forms placques)
they think beta-amyloid destroys brain cells
16 percent developed Alzheimer’s disease before they died
autopsy showed they all had plaque in their brains

72% of those with insulin resistance also had plaque
62% of those with high blood sugar but not insulin resistance yet also had plaque

2003 review
the number of people with Alzheimer’s and diabetes may have been underestimated
people with suspected vascular dementia are excluded from an Alzheimer’s dx

“When people with cerebrovascular disease are included, diabetes is associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. Studies that have examined peripheral glucoregulation in Alzheimer's disease are not consistent but some show small to moderate impairments in insulin sensitivity."

GENETICS
recent study: people W/ diabetes and an ApoE4 allele-->2+x risk of alz relative to pts with ApoE4 but no DM
one study: DM dramatically incr amyloid deposition and neurofibrillary tangles in pts w/ ApoE4 genotype

APOE4
known to influence many neurological diseases
high risk factor for Alzheimer's

FOUR MAIN CAUSES OF ALZHEIMERS ACCORDING TO MERCOLA
University of Michigan: dementia strikes about 50% of people who reach 85
of those, about 60% go on to develop Alzheimer's disease
"insulin resistance appears at the top of the list of known culprits"

other culprits:
Insufficient omega-3 fats
Aluminum toxicity
Mercury toxicity
Drugs: Anticholinergics incl: night-time pain relievers, antihistamines, and other sleep aids
(moa: blocks acetylcholine, pts with alz have markedly low atch levels)
recent study: that seniors taking 'definite anticholinergics' have 4x more cognitive impairment!!!
in pts NOT carrying APOE4 gene, risk with drug is 7x higher!!!
taking more than one anticholinergic: even more risk of cognitive impairment

HOW TO MINIMIZE YOUR RISK (MERCOLA)
normalize insulin and leptin levels-->this increases brain insulin production
seven guidelines
1) Avoid sugars and grains, particularly fructose
2) Take a high quality animal-based omega-3 fat
3) Increase your intake of antioxidants
4) Exercise
odds of alz 4x in pts who aren't active during leisure time between ages 20-60
5) Avoid and remove mercury from your body
6) Avoid aluminum
7) Challenge your mind

SOURCES
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20542932
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2010 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]
Early detection of sporadic CJD by diffusion-weighted MRI before the onset of symptoms.
Satoh K, Nakaoke R, Nishiura Y, Tsujino A, Motomura M, Yoshimura T, Sasaki K, Shigematsu K, Shirabe S, Eguchi K.
The First Department of Internal Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Science, Nagasaki University, 1-7-1 Sakamoto, Nagasaki, Japan.
PMID: 20542932 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67O5OK20100825?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+reuters/healthNews+(News+/+US+/+Health+News)

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/07/does-insulin-resistance-cause-alzheimers-plaques.aspx

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