What is "Type 3 Diabetes"?

Since 2005, Alzheimer's disease has been labeled as "Type 3 Diabetes" in the medical field. This new definition is due to the discovery of lower insulin levels, the main symptom of diabetes, in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. But how accurate is this new name? And what implications does it have for our perspective on Alzheimer's disease?

Research

For a long time now, people have believed that developing Alzheimer's disease is merely a matter of chance. Recent research, however, shows that this may not be the case. In 2005, the Brown Medical Research team discovered that there were low levels of insulin in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

This resistance to insulin and insulin-like growth factors proved to be an important element in the development of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, a different study showed that a daily insulin spray helped to improve memory for patients with Alzheimer's-linked memory problems.

However, the casual relationship between Alzheimer's disease and insulin levels has yet to be proven, and the fact remains that Alzheimer's disease can develop without the presence of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Lifestyle and Alzheimer's Disease

Despite the lack of a definitive link between insulin levels and Alzheimer's disease, there is still a great amount of evidence showing a close connection between lifestyle choices and Alzheimer's. People with diabetes are two to three times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Fitness and a good diet are also linked to decreased occurrences of Alzheimer's and other dementia-related ailments.

Although at this time the evidence for Alzheimer's disease as a third type of diabetes remains inconclusive, it is important for people to continue to factor in their lifestyle choices when looking toward the future to safeguard against ailments such as Alzheimer's Disease.

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