Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Undiagnosed pre-diabetes highly prevalent in early Alzheimer's disease study

Date:
July 14, 2013
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
When a neurologist began enrolling people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease into a nationwide study last year, he expected to find only a handful of participants with undiagnosed glucose intolerance, as all the patients were already under a doctor's care and those with known diabetes were excluded. But the scientists said he was "shocked" by how many study participants were found to have pre-diabetes -- a finding that is triggering important questions.

When Georgetown University neurologist R. Scott Turner, MD, PhD, began enrolling people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease into a nationwide study last year, he expected to find only a handful of participants with undiagnosed glucose intolerance, as all the patients were already under a doctor's care and those with known diabetes were excluded. But Turner says he was "shocked" by how many study participants were found to have pre-diabetes -- a finding that is triggering important questions.

Related Articles


Turner's study examines resveratrol, a compound found in red grapes and red wine, to see if it might change glucose levels in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD). Turner says resveratrol is thought to act on proteins in the brain in a way that mimics effects of a low-calorie diet.

"We know from animal studies that caloric restriction prevents diseases of aging such as diabetes and Alzheimer's," explains Turner, director of the Georgetown University Medical Center's Memory Disorders Program. "On the flip side of the coin, having diabetes increases one's risk of developing AD. So perhaps by improving glucose tolerance, we will prevent or delay both diabetes and Alzheimer's."

To join the resveratrol study, participants were first given a fasting glucose tolerance test to obtain a baseline level, and then retested two hours after eating. During digestion, the blood sugar level increases, but the pancreas produces insulin to lower it. A high sugar level after two hours reveals glucose intolerance (pre-diabetes) or diabetes if the level is very high.

"The number of people with glucose intolerance (pre-diabetes) was much higher than expected," says Turner. "I was surprised by how many people didn't know they were pre-diabetic, and these are individuals who already get the best medical care."

Five (4 percent) of 128 participants had impaired fasting glucose levels while three others (2 percent) had findings consistent with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Of the 125 subjects who completed the two-hour test, 38 (30 percent) demonstrated glucose intolerance while 16 (13 percent) had results consistent with diabetes. Thus, the overall prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes at two hours was 43 percent -- or almost half of the individuals recruited to the study.

Turner asks, "How does glucose intolerance or diabetes lead to AD? Does the inflammation associated with AD trigger glucose intolerance? Or do both events create a vicious cycle of Alzheimer's and glucose intolerance?"

Turner's study isn't designed to answer these questions, but it might provide important clues. Turner says while a glucose tolerance test is not typically ordered by neurologists, "this result suggests that perhaps we should test all our patients with early Alzheimer's. It's a simple, inexpensive study that reveals critical health information."

Turner will discuss his findings at the Alzheimer's Association International Congress in Boston on July 14.

The resveratrol study is sponsored by the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study through a grant from the National Institute on Aging. Turner reports no personal financial interests related to the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Undiagnosed pre-diabetes highly prevalent in early Alzheimer's disease study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130714160840.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2013, July 14). Undiagnosed pre-diabetes highly prevalent in early Alzheimer's disease study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130714160840.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Undiagnosed pre-diabetes highly prevalent in early Alzheimer's disease study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130714160840.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins