Is Alzheimer's disease "type 3 diabetes"?

Very interesting summary of research… Any thoughts?

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We’ve already sorta staked out Type 3 to mean something else completely. Has no one learned the lesson that very few people know the difference between Type 1 & Type 2? And that adding another “Type” will muddy the waters even MORE? Let’s label diseases by their cause and not numbers or by age, please?

Actually, even science has a hard time distinguishing Type 1s and 2s, since those are both catch-all categories for a variety of disorders with genetic and environmental factors. But yes, definitively adding a new “Type 3” seems less than helpful. Incidentally, this paper is from 2008, so this proposed label for Alzheimer’s hasn’t caught on.

A good read though! I wasn’t aware that Alzheimer’s could be described as “diabetes of the brain,” which is an interesting way to think about it.

I think the main point of the article is the pathology they share and not really a suggestion to change the name

I agree! That was kind of my point. The underlying presentation of Alzheimer’s, and the biochemical pathways, make it undoubtedly similar to diabetes. And the idea that insulin sensitizing drugs could possibly reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s is fascinating. I’m unaware of any drug trials exploring this, but will be looking later!

I agree that for short hand we generally use type 3 as a person who supports a person with diabetes. here are a few of the other less commonly referenced causes of diabetes:

Pancreatitis or pancreatectomy as a cause of diabetes. Pancreatitis is known to increase the risk of developing diabetes, as is a pancreatectomy.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). One of the root causes of PCOS is obesity-linked insulin resistance, which may also increase the risk of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Cushing’s syndrome. This syndrome increases production of the cortisol hormone, which serves to increased blood glucose levels. An over-abundance of cortisol can cause diabetes.

Glucagonoma. Patients with glucagonoma may experience diabetes because of a lack of equilibrium between levels of insulin production and glucagon production.

Steroid induced diabetes (steroid diabetes) is a rare form of diabetes that occurs due to prolonged use of glucocorticoid therapy.

In short, yes Alzheimer’s might be a new and previously unidentified cause. That could lead to advancements in both brain and diabetes research. But terming anything type 3 is a stretch. There could be lots of type 3 candidates.

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You forgot my personal favorite ultra-rare diabetes, Maternally Inherited Diabetes and Deafness, a mitochondrial disorder that is strictly heritable. A fitful beta cell response often means patients with MIDD have to take exogenous insulin only intermittently. I only know about this because my grandmother most likely had MIDD. Deafness and diabetes run strongly in my mother’s family.

That is a new one on me. I will add it to my list of causes. I love finding new ones.