Often people with diabetes have brain changes that are hallmarks of both Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Some researchers believe that each condition fuels the damage caused by the other. That link may occur as a result of the ways that type 2 diabetes affects the ability of the brain and other body tissues to use sugar (glucose) and respond to insulin.
“To function well, the neurons in your brain need fuel. If you don’t have a good blood supply to the brain, then you don’t get enough glucose,” says Guojun Bu, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic neuroscientist and associate director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
The reduction of blood flow to the brain caused by damaged blood vessels may be why those with diabetes have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes and Alzheimer's disease are connected in ways that aren't yet fully understood. Dr. Bu and other researchers are studying how insulin resistance may affect the brain and result in Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. Read the rest of the article on the Regenerative Medicine blog.
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