Further research into the links between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease

A study by the University of Aberdeen, published today (21 June 2016) in the journal Diabetologia, reports a possible mechanism behind the link between Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes.

This adds to evidence that drugs currently used to control glucose levels in diabetes may alleviate the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Society said:

'There is already evidence of an association between type 2 diabetes and the risk of Alzheimer's, but the underlying mechanisms that could link the two are so far unclear.

'The gene studied here, called BACE1, has long been known to contribute towards Alzheimer's disease. In this research, mice were used to identify what role this gene could play in the development of both Alzheimer's and diabetes. However more research is needed to understand whether this relationship is also true in people. Alzheimer's Society is funding research of existing diabetes drugs as possible treatments, including a clinical trial of liraglutide.'

'This research does not mean people with diabetes should be unduly worried about their risk of getting dementia. Anyone who is worried should visit their GP for advice on how to correctly manage their condition. Other ways to reduce your risk of dementia are to is to take regular exercise, avoid smoking and eat a healthy, balanced diet.'