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Mount Sinai researchers discover novel mechanisms that might causally link type-2 diabetes to Alzheimer's disease
Date:4/10/2009

of the clinical disease and positively correlates with brain accumulation of β-amyloid, an abnormal protein highly linked to Alzheimer' disease dementia and brain degeneration. This evidence is of high interest to the field and suggests, for the first time, a strong relationship between decreased content of a gene responsible for type-2 diabetes in Alzheimer's disease dementia cases, says Dr. Pasinetti.

"Of considerable interest," continues Dr. Pasinetti, "is the evidence found in further mechanistic studies in our laboratory, indicating that promoting PGC-1 content in brain cells, using a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, attenuates hyperglycemic-mediated production of β-amyloid, highly linked to Alzheimer' disease dementia. These findings are very exciting, and for the first time tentatively link type-2 diabetic metabolic defects to increasing dementia mediated by β-amyloid production."

The discovery in Dr. Pasinetti's laboratory has staggering societal implications: there are currently more than 5 million Americans affected by Alzheimer's disease dementia, and the disease incidence is expected to skyrocket in the three decades as the population ages. The question now is how we can translate this evidence into the development of novel approaches for disease prevention and treatment.

Dr. Pasinetti and his colleagues are optimistic that if they find that PGC-1α can be manipulated pharmacologically, these studies will provide important insights to be used in the formulation of novel treatments and possible preventative strategies in Alzheimer's disease.


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