Alzheimer's gene 'diabetes link'

Posted: June 15, 2012 at 11:13 am

14 June 2012 Last updated at 20:29 ET

Scientists say they have identified a possible genetic link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

It has been known for some time that people with diabetes have a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer's, but not why this is so.

Now US researchers writing in Genetics say a study of worms has indicated a known Alzheimer's gene also plays a role in the way insulin is processed.

Dementia experts said more work in humans was now needed.

Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, which affects 820,000 people in the UK.

There are medications which can slow the progress of the disease, but none that can halt its progress.

A key indication of Alzheimer's, which can only be seen after death, is the presence of sticky plaques of amyloid protein in decimated portions of patients' brains.

Scientists have already found mutations in a gene involved in the processing of amyloid protein in Alzheimer's which run in families.

In this study, a team from the City College of New York looked at a similar gene in the nematode worms (C. elegans).

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Alzheimer's gene 'diabetes link'

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