Researchers from Iowa State University state that insulin resistance is common in people who are overweight/obese, pre-diabetic or have type 2 diabetes. They examined brain scans from 150 late middle-aged adults. Participants underwent cognitive testing and had their blood drawn. Almost 70% of participants had parental history of Alzheimerâs and about 40% had a specific gene linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance.
Findings revealed that those with increased IR had reduced blood sugars in certain areas of the brain that affected memory functionâwhich is also linked to Alzheimerâs.Â Therefore late middle-aged adults with IR are at increased risk for developing Alzheimerâs.
“If you don’t have as much fuel, you’re not going to be as adept at remembering something or doing something,” lead author Willette stated. “This is important with Alzheimer’s disease, because over the course of the disease there is a progressive decrease in the amount of blood sugar used in certain brain regions. Those regions end up using less and less.”
Previous studies have demonstrated that older adults with IR, high blood sugars, and type 2 diabetes are more likely to have reduced glucose metabolism and are at increased risk for developing dementia. Post-mortem examinations have confirmed these findings.
Researchers conclude that further research should encompass the understanding of insulin signaling in the brain among at-risk healthy individuals.
Sources for Todayâs Article:
“Insulin resistance increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease, study finds,” ScienceDaily web site July 27, 2015; www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150727130816.htm.
Willette, A.A., et al., âAssociation of insulin resistance with cerebral glucose uptake in late middleâaged adults at risk for Alzheimer disease,â JAMA Neurology 2015; DOI:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.0613.