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J Clin Invest. 2013 Feb;123(2):531-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI64595. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Alzheimer's disease and insulin resistance: translating basic science into clinical applications.

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Institute of Medical Biochemistry, CCS, Room H2-019, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21944-590, Brazil.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) and diabetes are currently considered among the top threats to human health worldwide. Intriguingly, a connection between these diseases has been established during the past decade, since insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, also develops in Alzheimer brains. In this article, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying defective brain insulin signaling in AD are discussed, with emphasis on evidence that Alzheimer's and diabetes share common inflammatory signaling pathways. I put forward here a hypothesis on how a cross-talk between peripheral tissues and the brain might influence the development of AD, and highlight important unanswered questions in the field. Furthermore, I discuss a rational basis for the use of antidiabetic agents as novel and potentially effective therapeutics in AD.

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