I recently read in New Scientist that Alzheimer’s might well be just another form of Diabetes.. the THIRD kind.
We all know that in normal circumstances our body and brain needs sugar for “fight or flight”. The brain’s survival mechanism is to seek out fat and sugars to keep it going and keep it alive. However, a tip in the scales and this compulsion could have devastating effects.
Everybody knows that an indulgent diet can bring about obesity and diabetes. Well, there is growing evidence that they trigger Alzheimer’s disease too, and some researchers now see it as just another form of diabetes. Close encounters of the third kind.
If this is true, then we live in frightening times because fast-food joints and unhealthy eating is at an all time high. If Alzheimer’s is related to diet, we might just see an exponential rise in the disease in the next 5 years, maybe less.
The association between Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes is long-established: type 2 sufferers are two to three times more likely to be struck by this form of dementia than the general population. There are also associations between Alzheimer’s and obesity and Alzheimer’s and metabolic syndrome (a complex of diet-related pathologies).
Researchers first proposed that Alzheimer’s was another form of diabetes in 2005. They found that the levels of both insulin and insulin-like growth factors in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients were much lower than those in the brains of people who had died of other causes. Levels were lowest in the parts of the brain most affected by the disease.
Anyway, hope is not lost and this nasty outcome will not be easily averted. Most people already know that too much fast food high-fat, high-sugar food is a health hazard. And few need to be reminded of the health implications. That being said, fastfood consumption is still at an all time high. Fat laden food in Malaysia such as Nasi Kandar or Banana Leaf Rice are no better than their western counterparts.
Of course we cannot yet say, beyond a shadow of doubt, that poor diet leads to Alzheimer’s disease, though we can say that the evidence is strong and growing. However, human beings have nothing to lose if they put less rubbish into their system – even if not preventative of Alzheimer’s then at least heart disease, obesity and diabetes.