Texarkana, TX 91° Thu H 93° L 74° Fri H 92° L 75° Sat H 93° L 74° Weather Sponsored By:

Type 3 Diabetes: The glucose, Alzheimer's disease connection

Type 3 Diabetes: The glucose, Alzheimer's disease connection

December 10th, 2017 by Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. in Features

Alzheimer's disease is common and mysterious, well-documented and hidden. Though it affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans today (5.3 million are 65 or older), by 2050 almost 14 million people in the U.S. and 1.4 million in Canada are expected to have this condition.

Although there are medications available, none slows the progress of the disease and none has come close to a cure. In fact, several major drug trials aimed at tackling the disease have shut down prematurely because of colossal failure of the proposed medication. But there is hope due to new clues about diet.

Research published in JAMA Neurology seems to best explain what goes on in the brain when Alzheimer's develops: In that study the two known "bad actors" associated with loss of cognitive function are amyloid? plaques and tau tangles. We don't know that they're the direct cause of the loss of brain functioning, but one hypothesis holds that the formation of plaques may trigger conversion of tau into a toxic version of itself; the toxic tau then makes the plaques even worse, and those two scramble transmissions of info and disrupt memory, emotions and more. Another hypothesis holds that it is inflammation, often worsened by excess sugar.

But how does this all get started? That's the trillion-dollar question! (The yearly cost of payments for health care, long-term and hospice care for people with Alzheimer's are projected to hit over $1.1 trillion in 2050.)



Type 3 Diabetes

New research indicates that inflammation is worsened by dysfunction of glucose metabolism in the brain. That's what's behind the newly coined phrase, "Alzheimer's as Type 3 Diabetes." Here's the current research on glucose levels and your brain:

1. Increases in blood glucose levels are related to higher brain glucose levels, especially in your last decades of life.

2. Higher brain levels of glucose—overwhelming levels—are a precursor to changes in neurological functions. Those changes happen before symptoms of Alzheimer's appear and seem to be associated with formation of plaques and dysregulation of tau.

3. A study in a recent issue of the journal Neurology reports that researchers tested more than 1,600 folks for five biomarkers of inflammation (fibrinogen, albumin, white blood cell count, von Willebrand factor and Factor VIII) when they were around 55 years old. Then, 24 years later, researchers gave those same participants a brain scan and memory test. Folks who had previously elevated levels of three or more biomarkers ended up with an average of 5 percent lower volume of their hippocampus and other areas of the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease. They also had lower scores on the memory test.

4. And then there's the obstructive sleep apnea connection. A new study shows that older folks with OSA are at increased risk for Alzheimer's. Turns out, OSA is associated with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, whether or not a person is obese. And glucose intolerance and insulin resistance cause elevated glucose levels in the blood and eventually in the brain. That then leads to neuron function disruption and formation of plaques and toxic tau protein—Type 3 diabetes!

What this means for YOU if you are one of the 100 million Americans with prediabetes or diabetes: Act now to reduce bodily inflammation and restore healthy blood sugar levels.

  •     Walk 10,000 steps a day and do strength training two to three days a week.
  •     Eat seven to nine servings of fruits and veggies a day.
  •     Avoid added sugars, syrups and simple carbs; they are brain cell killers.
  •     Control your stress response with meditation and seven to eight hours of good-quality sleep every night.
  •     If you have OSA, get treated!
  •     If you need medication to control your blood glucose, get it, use it and see your doctor regularly to make sure you're on track.

Your brain will thank you decades from now, when you're still thinking clearly!


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit sharecare.com.


(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com