A new study says there is a genetic link between diabetes and the Alzheimer's disease.
A recent study has suggested a genetic link between diabetes and the Alzheimer's disease, making clear why diabetics are at greater risk of developing the disease.
According to the study published in the Genetics
, the gene that links the two diseases affects the insulin pathway.
"People with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of dementia. The insulin pathways are involved in many metabolic processes, including helping to keep the nervous system healthy," said Chris Li, the lead scientist.
Researchers at the City College of New York (CCNY) studied the protein APL-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) worms, which are perfect models for human research.
"What we found was that mutations in the worm-equivalent of the APP gene slowed their development, which suggested that some metabolic pathway was disrupted ... We began to examine how the worm-equivalent of APP modulated different metabolic pathways and found that the APP equivalent inhibited the insulin pathway," Li added.
The results made it clear that the same gene in human body plays the same role in both Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.
Li explained that, "When you knock out the worm-equivalent of APP, the animals die. This tells us that the APP family of proteins is essential in worms, as they are essential in mammals."
However, researchers say the new findings do not make it clear how the gene is related to the insulin pathway and more work is needed to further study the link.
Scientists believe the new findings will open new doors for treating and preventing both the Alzheimer's disease and diabetes in near future.