You’ve most likely heard of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but do you know about type 3 diabetes? Although this third type is not yet associated or diagnosed in the medical community, more and more bodies of research are emerging linking Alzheimer’s to insulin resistance.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are manageable diseases, and The Online Drugstore provides online medications in addition to diabetes care ranging from diabetic socks to blood glucose test strips. Find it all in our online store along with countless other health and beauty aids. To discover what scientists are coining “type 3 diabetes,” read more in our post today.
When Type 2 Diabetes Spirals
It’s known that being overweight or obese and having type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and now there is talk, as well as supportive research, of a new form of diabetes: a third class or type 3 diabetes.
Type 3 in associated to Alzheimer’s disease because the neurons in the brain become desensitized to insulin and cannot carry out basic functions such as those related to learning and memory. Overtime, as you can imagine, the ability to learn new things or recall memories becomes severely impaired, and spirals to type 3 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
How Blood Sugar and Insulin Relate to Brain Health
The brain loves glucose, and in fact, prefers it over all other types of fuel. Glucose is consumed through starchy and sugary foods to fuel the brain. Insulin is a hormone that helps direct glucose to where it’s needed, and in excess, stores it in fat.
In new studies, scientists have identified insulin as an anabolic hormone, meaning it can prompt the new growth in cells. So just in the way it can grow fat cells, it can also stimulate the growth of new brain cells, namely neurons. Neurons are the lovely brain cells that send and receive messages and process and tuck away information.
Insulin transmits messages through synapses which have ports that welcome insulin, and it is now understood that insulin plays a role in forming new memories. Memory loss and the ability to form new memories are key symptoms related to Alzheimer’s, which could be related to insulin resistance in the brain.
How do you know insulin is a variable?
It’s easy to theorize what’s going on, but as it turns out, shots of insulin help the memory in those with the disease. Although this seems like a breakthrough, long term effect would most likely do the opposite — increase insulin resistance resulting in even more memory loss.
The Problem With Insulin Resistance
In a healthy person insulin sensitivity is established, and in those with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance occurs. Insulin resistance is a result of the body synthesizing high amounts of insulin in the cycle of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and there is simply too much the cells begin to ignore it’s glucose-governing properties. As insulin resistance sets in so do other diseases, with one of them being Alzheimer’s.
Putting The Puzzle Together
In Alzheimer research it has been thought that amyloid beta proteins were responsible for the cognitive decline, but new research suggests it could be a close relative neurotoxin known as amyloid beta-derived diffusible ligands (ADDLs). The structure of ADDLs are very similar to those associated in “mad cow disease,” in which there is an accelerated decline in brain deterioration. This brain decline has been compared as Alzheimer’s on steroids.
Research at Northwestern University, Chicago has since discovered that the ADDLs cells damage the brain synapse where insulin attaches and forms new memories. This function makes the synapses insulin resistant, thus connecting it with Alzheimer’s.
In another study at Brown University on 45 postmortem patients with Alzheimer’s, it was observed that the more advance case of Alzheimer’s a person had, the least amount of insulin activity was present. It has also been reported that patients with Alzheimer’s have less insulin receptors and less insulin, than healthy brains.
While there are many theories still out about what causes Alzheimer’s, the idea of a type 3 diabetes contributing is showing strong, evidence-based support. Whether or not type 3 diabetes will make it in our vernacular as a diagnosis in modern medicine, has yet to be seen.