Though it was long held that there is a link between diabetes and the Alzheimer’s disease, another strong evidence has been found by researchers reiterating the fact.
With high glucose levels in the blood, the amyloid beta, a key component of brain plaques in Alzheimer’s patients, also increases, said a study conducted in mice. The build up of these plaques in turn give rise to the complex set of changes resulting in Alzheimer’s in the brain.
“Our results suggest that diabetes, or other conditions that make it hard to control blood sugar levels, can have harmful effects on brain function and exacerbate neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease,” said Shannon Macauley of Washington University’s School of Medicine.
As diabetes retards the capacity to control the levels of glucose in the blood, patients have to take insulin or other medicines to control their blood sugar levels in the body, which spikes post-meals, especially.
For the study, researchers have infused glucose into the bloodstreams of mice bred to develop an Alzheimer’s-like condition and found that in mice without amyloid plaques in their brains, it led to increased amyloid beta levels in the brain by 20 percent.
When the scientists repeated the experiment in older mice that already had developed brain plaques, amyloid beta levels rose by 40 percent.
The spikes in blood glucose essentially gave rise to the activity of neurons in the brain that in turn promoted production of amyloid beta.
The study has been published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.