Insulin resistance a possible cause of Alzheimer's

Insulin resistance may be a contributing cause of Alzheimer's. This study summarized here found that brain cells may be starved of nutrition, just as other cells in the body, by an inability to metabolize glucose. In addition to the development of Alzheimer's, other effects may be loss of normal appetite control, obesity, infertility and T2 diabetes.

Also in the news recently two possible treatments based on this insight.

First a nasal spray of insulin which apparently goes to the brain and does not cause lows, showed improved cognitive function in subjects with mild cognitive impairment.

Second a milkshake type drink designed to fuel the brain with ketones. "The shake contains caprylic triglyceride, a compound derived from coconut oil that is metabolized in the liver to produce ketone bodies, which serve as alternate brain fuel for Alzheimer's patients." Although it helped most patients up to 90 days after that it only helped those who had a specific gene. In spite of these mixed results the company is continuing clinical trials.

Since the aim of the milkshake is to provide ketones for the brain to burn it would seem the statement that the brain can only burn glucose, often used by dieticians to explain why a low carb(ketogenic) diet is dangerous, is incorrect.

It might also mean that a low carb diet might be the preferred choice for T2's on the grounds that it might ward off Alzheimer's. Perhaps further study is warranted.

This is interesting. We have many T2s in our family including my grandfather who was in one of Bantings first trials. (My grandfather followed Bantings low carb diet and lived into his 80s without complications). Even back then in the 50s and 60s one of the big worries was the fear of getting “diabetic dementia”. My uncle (T2 for many years) suffered a heart attack at age 90 and had some dementia caused by the brain damage rather than the diabetes. Everyone else seems to be fine including those in their 70s and 80s. Most follow the low carb diet and eat to the meter etc.

These studies can be so confusing because there are so many genetic factors involved. The fact that the milkshake only worked for those with a specific gene is interesting… something like the Josin study which has discovered that longterm T1s without complications seem to have a protective factor. I hope one day they will be able to identify all these different genes.

Very interesting. I have T-2’s everywhere in my family tree. We all got it in our 50’s.

My mother who died from Alzheimer’s was very carb addicted loving her sweets especially in her senior years. Mom never had T-2 but complained of headaches all the time.

Many though in the Alzheimer’s unit though were T-2, I would bet 50%.

Given the resistance, according to several of our members who are Registered Dieticians, of most T2.s to giving up carbs, it’s interesting that most T2’s in your family low carb and eat to their meters. Was it the success of your Grandfather in following the Banting Diet that encouraged them? Also hopeful that all seem to be doing well vis a vis dementia, perhaps low carb eating can be an answer.

Funny I don’t recall Alzheimer’s or diabetic dementia ever being mentioned as a possible complication of T2. From your experience and Peeties it seems like maybe it should have been.

I located this on the Canadian Diabetes Association website , 2010 Diabetes Current , online news letter …scroll a bit
Why Alzheimer is called " type 3 diabetes "

PS …and if you scroll further , as I did …:slight_smile:

Gosh, it almost makes me glad I take Metformin to help control T2! What an interesting article, nel.

Hi BadMoonT2.
I think everyone was just used to eating low carb. My aunt has been the go-to person for the newly diagnosed and she’s the one who teaches most of us how to use the meter.

That being said, my brother who has had T2 for 18 years is a starch and sugar junkie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen his meter read less than 20. Despite countless meds, nothing changed so… he takes nothing now and doesn’t use the meter because it always reads “HI”. No complications so far besides the frequent prescription changes which have continued since he was first diagnosed.

So… what is happening with him I wonder? Is there a protective factor at work? He’s 57, works fulltime, cares for his grandson on a daily basis and practises with a Drum Corps at least once a week. I can’t figure it out. When I was on sulfs, I developed neuropathy with much lower readings. Perhaps there is something to the idea that constant readings whether high or not are better than the swings?

Nevertheless, I worry about him constantly.

Hi Nel. Thanks for the link. I hope they will test for the gene that is the link between Alzheimers and diabetes before they start handing out yet another compulsory drug. My beef with the treatment of T2 diabetes remains the same. They hand out pills like candy and don’t bother to do tests or consider the family history. The constant pushing of statins, BP meds and sulfs just drives me crazy. Adding yet another drug to the mix frightens me.

This week a new member came on board who was diagnosed T2 in 2002. They just discovered last month that he has LADA???Why don’t they test???

BTW you look great in your Olympic Torch Picture. :smiley: That must have been one fabulous experience. Joanne

Yikes Pauly. That’s a frightening statistic!

Unfortunately the drug they found useful in treating Alzheimer’s is rosiglitazone also known Avandia. This drug has been recently pulled from the market in some countries and severely restricted in others, because it is linked to heart attacks. Many blame the results of the ACCORD study on the use of Avandia.

BadMoon, indeed how quick things change from suggesting a medication to restricting that same medication .
The reason why I posted the link was in response to your comment about a possible complication : Type 2/Alzheimer …not too advocate which med works or not …the article is dated Jan 2010 .

Hi Peetie,
Please see my response to BadMoon … we need to be our own best advocates all of the time : learn , learn , learn .My Doc does not push meds on me …however I have tests regularly to keep a watchful eye on BP, chol levels etc. etc.
( after all, almost 29 years with diabetes )
I can’t and won’t comment on the new member , who was diagnosed as a T2 in 2002, and is now LADA …for me , there is something missing in the story …however I do hope the person is doing much better .
PS I was surprised to see me in the Jan .2010 Current edition …I likely suffer from memory loss …I blame my age :slight_smile:

I’m glad you posted the link nel, it had some other info I found interesting. Also it was from Jan 2010 which predated the ban I think. I didn’t feel your post was advocating or not advocating but was instead adding to the discussion. I apologize if you felt my post was criticizing you in any way:)

Badmoon …please no apology necessary …I have tough skin , ha, ha ( at least you know the Torch carrying story …for all PWD :slight_smile:

Here's the torch story for anyone that missed it. Congratulations on the impressive fund raising number nel !!