The Cottages Blog

High Blood Sugar May Be Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

Posted by Michelle Kelley on Mar 3, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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Researchers have known for a while that diabetics are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease when compared to people who do not have diabetes. A new study from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom claims to have found the link between high blood sugar levels and Alzheimer’s.

For this study, researchers looked at something called glycation, a reaction process in the body in which glucose abnormally bonds to proteins. Brain samples of people with Alzheimer’s were compared to samples of people free of the disease. Through these samples, researchers found that in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, glycation damages the macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) enzyme. The MIF enzyme plays a role in insulin regulation and in how certain brain cells respond to the beta-amyloid proteins that build up in the brain during Alzheimer’s, so damaging it can lead to more and faster buildup of the abnormal proteins.

As the disease progresses, the damage to the MIF enzymes only gets worse. Now that we know one way blood sugar and Alzheimer’s are connected, it may be possible to develop treatments and therapies to combat the destruction of the MIF enzyme and thus reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s in people with diabetes.

 

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Michelle Kelley

Written by: Michelle Kelley

Michelle Haigler Kelley is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. She and her husband Shane live in Pike Road with their daughters. She graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery and began her career in the senior care industry as an Activity Director before obtaining her Alabama Assisted Living Administrator License in 2014. “I have truly found my calling in life to work with our seniors. After all, they are considered the greatest generation,” says Michelle. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and going to the lake.