Diabetes linked to Cognitive impairment and Dementia

tanglesA new study, published in the journal of Neurology, has revealed that diabetes is independently linked to cognitive impairment and dementia.The study investigated the relationship between , loss of brain cells, levels of beta amyloiod (plaques usually found in Alzheimer’s disease), and tau or tangles of protein in the brain and spinal fluids of .

Tangles destroy a vital cell transport system made of proteins. In healthy brain areas the transport system is organized in orderly parallel strands somewhat like railroad tracks. Food molecules, cell parts and other key materials travel along the “tracks.”

A protein called tau (rhymes with wow) helps the tracks stay straight.

In areas where tangles are forming:

Tau collapses into twisted strands called tangles.

The tracks can no longer stay straight. They fall apart and disintegrate.

Nutrients and other essential supplies can no longer move through the cells, which eventually die.

The consisted of 816 people; 397 had , 191 had Alzheimer’s disease dementia, 124 participants had diabetes and 228 people had no memory and thinking problems.

“Evidence shows that people with have double the risk of developing dementia,” said study author Velandai Srikanth, MD, PhD, from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. “This interesting development further defines how the diseases may be connected.”

People with diabetes had 16 picograms per milliliter greater levels of tau protein in the spinal and brain fluid. Tangles (linked to build up of tau protein) are linked to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes is associated with a reduced thickness of cortex and the layer of the brain with most .

Diabetic patients had cortical tissue that was an average of 0.03 millimeter less than those who did not have diabetes, whether they had no thinking and memory problems, or dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.

“Due to the fact that in the brain do not replace themselves, it is extremely important to find ways to reduce the death of current brain cells. Studies such as ours seek to understand how diseases like diabetes may directly or indirectly affect brain ,” said Srikanth.

Source

https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/1406

Alzheimer’s Association

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