Treating Type-2 diabetes may prevent people from developing Alzheimer’s disease, says a new study. Patients with untreated diabetes develop signs of Alzheimer’s disease 1.6 times faster than people who did not have diabetes, according to the study published in the journal Diabetes Care.
Scientists consider Alzheimer’s as the result of a cascade of multiple problems including factors ranging from pollution exposure and genetics to heart and metabolic diseases.
“It is possible that the medicines for treating diabetes might make a difference in the progression of brain degeneration,” said Daniel A. Nation, Associate Professor at the University of Southern California.
“But it’s unclear how exactly those medications might slow or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, so that is something we need to investigate,” he added.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data on nearly 1,300 people aged 55 and older.
Data included biomarkers for diabetes and vascular disease, brain scans and a range of health indicators, including performance on memory tests.
Among 900 of those patients, more than 50 had Type-2 diabetes who did not receive any treatment, whereas nearly 70 were undergoing treatment.
In addition, nearly 530 participants had normal blood sugar levels while 250 had prediabetes.
“Our findings emphasise the importance of catching diabetes or other metabolic diseases in adults as early as possible,” Nation said.
“Among people with diabetes, the difference in their rate of developing the signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s is clearly tied somehow to whether or not they are on medication for it,” he noted.