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Med Res Rev. 2018 Jan;38(1):261-324. doi: 10.1002/med.21440. Epub 2017 Apr 19.

Bridging Type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimer's Disease: Assembling the Puzzle Pieces in the Quest for the Molecules With Therapeutic and Preventive Potential.

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Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Ed. C8, Campo Grande, 1749-016, Lisbon, Portugal.
CEDOC Chronic Diseases, Nova Medical School, Rua Câmara Pestana n 6, 6-A, Ed. CEDOC II, 1150-082, Lisbon, Portugal.


Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are two age-related amyloid diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. Broadly supported by epidemiological data, the higher incidence of AD among type 2 diabetic patients led to the recognition of T2D as a tangible risk factor for the development of AD. Indeed, there is now growing evidence on brain structural and functional abnormalities arising from brain insulin resistance and deficiency, ultimately highlighting the need for new approaches capable of preventing the development of AD in type 2 diabetic patients. This review provides an update on overlapping pathophysiological mechanisms and pathways in T2D and AD, such as amyloidogenic events, oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, aberrant enzymatic activity, and even shared genetic background. These events will be presented as puzzle pieces put together, thus establishing potential therapeutic targets for drug discovery and development against T2D and diabetes-induced cognitive decline-a heavyweight contributor to the increasing incidence of dementia in developed countries. Hoping to pave the way in this direction, we will present some of the most promising and well-studied drug leads with potential against both pathologies, including their respective bioactivity reports, mechanisms of action, and structure-activity relationships.


Alzheimer's disease; diabetes-induced dementia; drug design; natural products; type 2 diabetes

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