Type 3 diabetes

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Type 3 diabetes is a proposed term for Alzheimer's disease resulting from insulin resistance (which is the primary problem associated with type 2 diabetes) and insulin deficiency (which the primary problem in type 1 diabetes).[1][2]

A limited number of reviews have suggested mechanisms linking Alzheimer's and insulin resistance.[3][4][5][6] Neurofibrillary tangles and hyper phosphorylated tau proteins in the brain are present in Alzheimer's disease.[6] Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) plays a role in the formation of the neurofibrillary tangles.[6]


Multiple studies have been undertaken to determine the effects of insulin resistance and deficiency on the brain, research in this area is still being undertaken.[7] There is some evidence to link people who have type 1 or 2 diabetes as having an increased risk of developing type 3 diabetes.[1]


A deficiency or resistance to insulin can interact with proteins attributed to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.[8] It is suggested that insulin deficiency or resistance can exacerbate the production of amyloid-beta protein and phosphorylation of tau protein which are implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.[9]


This condition is not a recognised medical condition and hence there is no diagnostic method proposed as of yet.[10]


Evidence demonstrates that regular exercise can increase the body’s ability to effectively produce and use insulin in the body. Exercise has proven to prevent the development of both diabetes 1 and 2 as well as Alzheimer’s disease.[1]


Research to determine the effectiveness of drugs used in type 2 diabetes and its effects in treating Alzheimer’s disease is currently being undertaken.[11][8]


  1. ^ a b c "What is type 3 diabetes?". Diabetes NSW & ACT. 2019-08-30. Retrieved 2020-01-27.
  2. ^ de la Monte, Suzanne M.; Wands, Jack R. (November 2008). "Alzheimer's Disease is Type 3 Diabetes—Evidence Reviewed". Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. 2 (6): 1101–1113. doi:10.1177/193229680800200619. ISSN 1932-2968. PMC 2769828. PMID 19885299.
  3. ^ "Type 3 Diabetes". diabetes.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
  4. ^ Owen Dyer (2005). "Is Alzheimer's really just type III diabetes?". National Review of Medicine. 2 (21). Archived from the original on 2015-02-14.
  5. ^ Ahmed S, Mahmood Z, Zahid S (October 2015). "Linking insulin with Alzheimer's disease: emergence as type III diabetes". Neurol. Sci. 36 (10): 1763–9. doi:10.1007/s10072-015-2352-5. PMID 26248483.
  6. ^ a b c Kandimalla, Ramesk; Thirumala, Vani; Reddy, P. Hemachandra (May 2017). "Is Alzheimer's disease a Type 3 Diabetes? A Critical Appraisal". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1863 (5): 1078–1089. doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2016.08.018. ISSN 0006-3002. PMC 5344773. PMID 27567931.
  7. ^ Moheet, Amir; Mangia, Silvia; Seaquist, Elizabeth R. (2015). "Impact of diabetes on cognitive function and brain structure". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1353 (1): 60–71. doi:10.1111/nyas.12807. ISSN 1749-6632. PMC 4837888. PMID 26132277.
  8. ^ a b Femminella, Grazia Daniela; Bencivenga, Leonardo; Petraglia, Laura; Visaggi, Lucia; Gioia, Lucia; Grieco, Fabrizio Vincenzo; de Lucia, Claudio; Komici, Klara; Corbi, Graziamaria (2017). "Antidiabetic Drugs in Alzheimer's Disease: Mechanisms of Action and Future Perspectives". Journal of Diabetes Research. doi:10.1155/2017/7420796. PMC 5471577. PMID 28656154. Retrieved 2020-01-27.
  9. ^ Murphy, M. Paul; LeVine, Harry (2010-01-06). Lovell, Mark A. (ed.). "Alzheimer's Disease and the Amyloid-β Peptide". Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 19 (1): 311–323. doi:10.3233/JAD-2010-1221. PMC 2813509. PMID 20061647.
  10. ^ Editor (2019-01-15). "Type 3 diabetes is a title that has been proposed for Alzheimers disease which results from resistance to insulin in the brain". Diabetes. Retrieved 2020-01-27.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Li, Xiaohua; Song, Dalin; Leng, Sean X. (2015-03-10). "Link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease: from epidemiology to mechanism and treatment". Clinical Interventions in Aging. doi:10.2147/cia.s74042. PMC 4360697. PMID 25792818. Retrieved 2020-01-27.