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American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- May 13, 2009


Revealing a surprising link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease
Chemical & Engineering News

Blindness, heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney failure are not the only complications facing the nation's estimated 24 million people with diabetes. Although not widely known, those with the disease face up to double the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) than non-diabetics, according to an article scheduled for the May 18 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

C&EN senior editor Sophie Rovner explains in the article that people with diabetes tend to have a higher risk of getting AD, and possibly get it at an earlier age, than the general population. Five million people in the United States have Alzheimer's, a brain disorder that causes severe memory loss. Diabetes results from the body's inability to produce or use insulin. Newer research now suggests that insulin is critical for healthy nerve cells in the brain. As the hormone declines in the brains of people with Alzheimer's, so does their memory.

Some research even suggests that diabetes and Alzheimer's are part of the same disease process that affects different parts of the body and that Alzheimer's may be considered "Type 3" diabetes. If so, then doctors might treat Alzheimer's in the same way as diabetes, which includes giving patients insulin or other medications including so-called "insulin sensitizing" drugs the article states.

"Alzheimer's Scary Link To Diabetes"

This story will be available on May 18 at

Michael Bernstein
ACS News Service
Phone: 202-872-6042
Fax: 202-872-4370

Contact: Michael Woods
American Chemical Society

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