Study uncovers possible genetic link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes

Scientists shed new light on the function of a gene linked to Alzheimer’s.

Posted on 15th June 2012

The BBC reports today that scientists have found a possible genetic link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. The research, which used worms to study the function of a gene that is linked to Alzheimer’s, is published in the journal Genetics.

Dr Marie Janson, Director of Development at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“The link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease has been recognised for some time, and Alzheimer’s Research UK has funded research to investigate the relationship between these diseases.

“This early-stage study may provide an interesting clue to help scientists unravel how diabetes and Alzheimer’s are linked, but questions still remain to be answered. As this research looked at the effects of a gene in worms, studies are now needed to discover whether the equivalent gene in people has the same effect, and exactly what mechanisms may be involved.

“Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, which affects 820,000 people in the UK, and we still lack a treatment that can stop the disease in its tracks. If we are to find new treatments that can make a real difference to people’s lives, we must invest in research now.”

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