New Drug Might Diminish Alzheimer's Risk of Type 2 Diabetic Patients, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Study
Published: Feb 04, 2013
A research team in Israel has devised a novel approach to identifying the molecular basis for designing a drug that might one day decrease the risk diabetes patients face of developing Alzheimer's disease. The team will present its work at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society (BPS), held Feb. 2-6, 2013, in Philadelphia, Pa. A recent study suggests that people who suffer from type 2 diabetes face twice the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease later in life compared to those who do not have diabetes. The link these diseases share relates to the formation of two types of peptide deposits that aggregate, or clump together. Peptides are chains of amino acids; longer chains form proteins. One type of peptide, called amyloid beta, is found in Alzheimer plaques in neurons of the brain. The other type, amylin, is found in the pancreas and the brain. Two years ago, researchers found both molecules in the pancreas of diabetic patients, and in both diseases their presence has been linked to the progression of the disease state.