Interrelation of Diseases
Today we know that diseases are not as simple as we previously thought. They don’t just damage a single system or organs of the body, but rather affect a multitude of systems/organs. In other words, one disease may lead to another. Take obesity for example; it can cause hypertension, diabetes, and even heart attack! Same is true about diabetes, as it can cause Alzheimer’s disease. This association has been studied in the Uppsala University in Sweden and amyloids have been found to be the culprits.
What are amyloids?
Before understanding the link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes, you must know a little something about amyloids. Proteins make up a significant portion of our body cells. Amyloids develop when there is a distortion in the normal structure of proteins. These aberrant proteins aggregate in different organs, like the brain, and tend to have toxic adverse effects. One such aggregate of proteins is known as islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). IAPP can accumulate in the pancreas and destroy insulin-producing cells (beta cells of the pancreas), which may worsen type 2 diabetes.
A study was conducted to see whether IAPP can travel to the brain and cause memory loss in addition to its damaging effects on the pancreas. In the study, mice were injected with proIAPP (a precursor form of IAPP). After 10 months, it was found that IAPP was present in no other organs of the body, but the pancreas and the brain. Additionally, researchers found that there was a remarkable rise in IAPP in those parts of the brain that store memory.
Researchers also examined the tissue samples of patients with different brain disorders. It was found that Alzheimer’s patients had 1.4 times more IAPP in their brain as compared to other individuals.
This shows a strong link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s, that is, the amyloids produced in the pancreas travel to the brain and cause damage to the memory storing areas. IAPP and its precursors travel back and forth between these two organs, deteriorating them from within. This explains why people suffering from type 2 diabetes are also prone to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
This information is shared with you from Black Health TV, by The Diabetic Kitchen