Wednesday, February 22

Is Sugar Really to Blame for Alzheimer's?

Sweet cake
An important study talks about sugar, the brain, and Alzheimer's. Just how tight is the connection? Check out these videos & articles, along with an update from Tulane University's study.

High blood-sugar levels, such as those linked with Type 2 diabetes, make beta amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease dramatically more toxic to cells lining blood vessels in the brain, according to a key Tulane University study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The study supports growing evidence pointing to glucose levels and vascular damage as contributors to dementia.

“Previously, it was believed that Alzheimer’s disease was due to the accumulation of ‘tangles’ in neurons in the brain from overproduction and reduced removal of beta amyloid protein,” said senior investigator Dr. David Busija, regents professor and chair of pharmacology at Tulane University School of Medicine. “While neuronal involvement is a major factor in Alzheimer’s development, recent evidence indicates damaged cerebral blood vessels compromised by high blood sugar play a role. Even though the links among Type 2 diabetes, brain blood vessels and Alzheimer’s progression are unclear, hyperglycemia appears to play a role.”

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Drs. Cristina Carvalho and Paula Moreira from the University of Coimbra in Portugal were co-investigators in the study. 

Researchers studied cell cultures taken from the lining of cerebral blood vessels, one from normal rats and another from mice with uncontrolled chronic diabetes. They exposed the cells to beta amyloid and different levels of glucose and later measured their viability. Cells exposed to high glucose or beta amyloid alone showed no changes in viability. However, when exposed to hyperglycemic conditions and beta amyloid, viability decreased by 40 percent. Researchers suspect the damage is due to oxidative stress from the mitochondria of the cell.

The cells from diabetic mice were more susceptible to damage and death to beta amyloid protein − even at normal glucose levels. The increased toxicity of beta amyloid may damage the blood-brain barrier, disrupt normal blood flow to the brain and decrease clearance of beta amyloid protein.

The study’s findings underscore the need to aggressively control blood sugar levels in diabetic individuals, Busija said.

Comment or Share:

  1. The interesting in the article above is that the sugar called glucose "alone" or the protein called betamyloid alone, did Not caused neurons damage, proving that betamyloid it is Not the cause of AD, but it is more for a " toxic witness".
    But when they put together the sugar and the protein (the sugar glucose with the protein betamyloid)they lead to a chemical reaction called Glycation, that is the toxic fusion that leads to the advanced glycation end - products, leading to peroxinitrites productoon, that are toxic to mitochondrias and that, in a vicious circle, leads the mitochondrias to produce more peroxinitrites, etc. But there are nutraceutical supplements as carnosine, Acetyl L Carnitine, resveratrol (in the ideal doses in pure red grape juice), epigallo catechin gallate (EGCG) present in green tea and in pure and concentrated grape juice) that are antiglicating supplements, peroxinitrites scavengers, that can gives some neuroprotection, and can works as biochemical and pharmacological base to develops more effective drugs and supplements to neurodegenerative diseases.

  2. Dear Carlos Oliveira, verry good conclusions. You surely know the topic of Mitochondriopathie. Are you on facebook, I would love to continue the discussions. Thorsten Schlieper

    1. Dear Thorsten Schlieper,thank you very much for your kind words,but I'm not a researcher.But will be a great pleasure to talk about AD and others dementia disorders in the Facebook and/or in Google Plus,once both of my adress are open to the public.


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