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Rejuvenation Res. 2012 Apr;15(2):217-21. doi: 10.1089/rej.2011.1289.

Can Alzheimer disease be a form of type 3 diabetes?

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Department of Biopathology and Medical and Forensic Biotechnologies, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.


Alzheimer disease (AD) and metabolic syndrome are two highly prevalent pathological conditions of Western society due to incorrect diet, lifestyle, and vascular risk factors. Recent data have suggested metabolic syndrome as an independent risk factor for AD and pre-AD syndrome. Furthermore, biological plausibility for this relationship has been framed within the "metabolic cognitive syndrome" concept. Due to the increasing aging of populations, prevalence of AD in Western industrialized countries will rise in the near future. Thus, new knowledge in the area of molecular biology and epigenetics will probably help to make an early molecular diagnosis of dementia. An association between metabolic syndrome and specific single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene INPPL1, encoding for SHIP2, a SH2 domain-containing inositol 5-phosphatase involved in insulin signaling, has been described. According to recent data suggesting that Type 2 diabetes represents an independent risk factor for AD and pre-AD, preliminary results of a case-control study performed to test the putative association between three SNPs in the SHIP2 gene and AD show a trend toward association of these SNPs with AD.

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