Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UU Research Probes Alzheimer’s/Diabetes Links

21.10.2005


Researchers at the University of Ulster have found that drugs being developed to combat diabetes could also prevent nerve degeneration caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Neurobiologist Dr Christian Holscher, who heads the Alzheimer Research Group at the University’s Coleraine campus, has teamed up with the University’s internationally renowned diabetes research group to investigate links between two diseases.

Recent research has shown a surprising link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes, two of the major health challenges facing society today. According to Dr Holscher modern lifestyle promotes the development of type 2 diabetes, which in turn could drastically increase the number of people to develop Alzheimer’s disease as people with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to develop the disease than healthy people of the same age.



“Overeating, high fat and sugar content in the diet combined with little physical activity all increase the chances of a person developing type 2 diabetes. The number of people with this form of diabetes has rocketed in the last 10 years,” says Dr Holscher. “Type 2 diabetes used to be called ‘old age diabetes’, but now even children as young as 10 years old develop it. In the next decade, it is estimated that the number of obese people will double and that one in five will be considered obese or heavily overweight.”

He continued: “Blood sugar levels are high in type 2 diabetes patients because the cells do not respond to insulin any more. Insulin is the hormone that controls the levels of blood sugar and stimulates cell growth and repair.

“Alzheimer’s causes the brain to slowly degenerate. In the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s, proteins called beta-amyloid and tau accumulate and start to aggregate to lumps called plaques and tangles. Though all people have this protein, it appears to aggregate at alarming rates in some people and this can kill neurons over time,” explained Dr Holscher.

Recent research has shown that developing type 2 diabetes makes neurons in the brain more vulnerable to attack and to damaging influences. Protective mechanisms in the brain lose their effectiveness in protecting neurons and promoting growth and repair.

UU researchers are now investigating whether the drugs being developed to combat diabetes could also benefit the defence mechanisms of the brain against the neurodegeneration that develops in people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Standard drugs given to diabetic patients do not enter the brain so the research team at UU has developed new techniques to test novel drugs on brain activity. Dr Holscher says he is very encouraged by recent research results.

“We have found that novel diabetes drugs not only improve type 2 diabetes but that they also have a powerful effect on neurons to help fight off the damaging effects of beta-amyloid proteins and plaques.

This research could pave the way to developing new drugs that are specific for the protection of the brain of diabetic people, said Dr Holscher.

David Young | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ulster.ac.uk/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>