Diabetes link gives new hope for Alzheimer’s sufferers

Scientists may be able to track the onset.

Diabetes link gives new hope for Alzheimer’s sufferers

Dementia affects almost 280,000 Australians; a figure set to soar to almost one million by 2050. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for up to 70 percent of cases.

It’s heartening news, then, that scientists recently made a sizeable leap forward in understanding how Alzheimer’s develops. It was already known that the disease is characterised by an abnormal build-up of the protein beta amyloid in the brain. This stops nerve cells communicating, and they die.

According to a report in Science Daily, US research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that untreated diabetes went hand-in-hand with major increases in beta amyloid build-up not only in the brain, but in the retina. Where there was no diabetes, this build-up did not appear.

Whilst researchers had suspected a link between Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes for some time, this study is the first to show a direct association between the two conditions.

It means scientists may be able to track the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s by examining patients’ retinas—potentially providing an early warning device. What’s more, the study’s findings may contribute to drug testing and development.

Full article at Science Daily.

Alzheimer’s Australia
Phone: 02 6254 4233
Web: http://www.fightdementia.org.au/
Email: [email protected]

Article written by Fiona Marsden


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    23rd Sep 2012
    Consumption of dairy products, especially milk, increases a man's risk of contracting Parkinson's disease, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
    Previous studies have established a link between Parkinson's -- a degenerative central nervous system disorder that commonly causes the impairment of motor skills, including speech -- and the consumption of dairy. However, the mechanism for this effect is not yet understood.

    Researchers used data from a cancer-prevention health survey of the dietary and lifestyle habits of 73,175 women and 57,689 men to compare dairy intake with Parkinson's risk. They found that the men who ate the most dairy were 60 percent more likely to contract Parkinson's disease than the men with the lowest intake. Milk accounted for most of the correlation, rather than more processed products like yogurt or cheese.
    The data for the study were collected between the years of 1992 and 2001.

    In agreement with prior studies, the researchers found that the link was not caused by calcium, vitamin D or fat, but by some other, as-yet-unknown characteristic of dairy products.
    The average intake of the high-dairy group was 815 grams per day, approximately equivalent to three or four glasses of milk. The average intake in the lowest group was 78 grams per day.

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