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Alzheimer's Disease and Diabetes--Are They Related?

There is now new research that Alzheimer's Disease and certain types of dimentia may be related to the toxicity induced in the brain by insulin. Alzheimer's and diabetes may be the same disease, scientists claim. They have uncovered evidence that the debilitating form of dementia may be late stages of type 2 diabetes. The discovery would explain why nearly three quarters of patients with this form of diabetes go on to develop Alzheimer’s. Researchers from Albany University, New York State, believe the excess insulin they produce gets into the brain and disrupts key chemicals. Eventually masses of amyloid proteins - which poison brain cells - are created because of the excess which leads to Alzheimers, they say. Ewan McNay from the University said: 'People who develop diabetes have to realise this is about more than controlling their weight or diet. It’s also the first step on the road to cognitive decline. 'At first they won’t be able to keep up with their kids playing games, but in 30 years’ time they may not even recognise them.' According to the National Diabetes Audit, about 2.5m people have Type 2 diabetes, 80 per cent of which were overweight or obese. Alzheimer's affects 500,000 Britons. The increased risk of Alzheimer's for those with Type 2 has been suspected among the scientific community for a while. However, as many people with Type 2 are obese and therefore have shorter life-expectancies, little research has been conducted.