In 1906, a German neuropathologist Dr. Alois Alzheimer first identified what is now considered Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). He was caring for a middle-aged woman suffering from memory loss and disorientation. Just a short five years later, the woman passed away after enduring the torment of hallucinations and symptoms of dementia. Currently “the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques are the structural hallmarks of AD… and are considered ‘tombstones’ of the disease, not the cause of it.” (1)
Over the past 30 years, much research has been conducted with the attempt to pinpoint the exact cause of AD without success. However, according to a study conducted in 2008 at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital, AD represents a brain-specific form of diabetes mellitus, or “type 3 diabetes.” Through the research of both animal and human subjects, it has been determined that “brain insulin/IGF (insulin growth factor) resistance and insulin/IGF deficiency” cause AD. These abnormalities were also detectable in the early stages of the disease and worsened as the disease progressed. (2)
Basically, AD or Type 3 Diabetes is insulin resistance in the brain, Type 2 Diabetes is insulin resistance in the peripheral tissues, and Type 1 Diabetes is insulin deficiency in the pancreas. (2)
So what can we do about this? Strict blood sugar control, exercise, consume EPA Omega daily, and remove substances that have been shown to increase the risk of Type 3 Diabetes (i.e., non-stick cookware, insecticides).
Please refer to our website blog for more information. I would love to hear your comments and opinions. Have a healthy day!
Ask a Nurse is sponsored by Perfect Form Center for Wellness & Anti-Aging.
column by HOLLIE HILL, RN, BSN, CFO
BIO: Hollie Hill is a critical care nurse and co-creator of Perfect Form Center for Wellness & Anti-Aging in Winter Haven. When Hollie is not working, she enjoys spending time with her two beautiful children, and is a perpetual student of her profession. For more information, go to www.perfectformwellness.com, or call Hollie at (863) 299-9111.
For Further Reading:
- Alzheimer’s Disease – Continuing Education Course #9615, 09/01/2011. http://www.netce.com/coursecontent.php?courseid=756
- Alzheimer’s Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes – Evidence Reviewed. November 2008. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, Vol 2, Issue 6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769828/