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Brain Res. 2012 Mar 2;1441:64-78. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.12.063. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Insulin signaling, glucose metabolism and mitochondria: major players in Alzheimer's disease and diabetes interrelation.

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Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, 3000-354 Coimbra, Portugal.


Many epidemiological studies have shown that diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, significantly increases the risk to develop Alzheimer's disease. Both diseases share several common abnormalities including impaired glucose metabolism, increased oxidative stress, insulin resistance and deposition of amyloidogenic proteins. It has been suggested that these two diseases disrupt common cellular and molecular pathways and each disease potentiates the progression of the other. This review discusses clinical and biochemical features shared by Alzheimer's disease and diabetes, giving special attention to the involvement of insulin signaling, glucose metabolism and mitochondria. Understanding the key mechanisms underlying this deleterious interaction may provide opportunities for the design of effective therapeutic strategies.

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