New Approach to Treating “Type 3 Diabetes”


Alzheimer’s disease has been characterized as “type 3 diabetes.”[1] Insulin sensitizers may play a role in treating Alzheimer’s disease and MSDC has developed a new insulin sensitizer that may prevent cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s-related dementia.  

While the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) involves brain cell loss associated with the build-up of abnormal clusters of protein fragments (plaques), and dead and dying nerve cells that contain twisted strands of another protein (tau),[2] other mechanisms also may play a role.  Reduced glucose metabolism associated with AD has been tied with a progressive loss of mitochondrial function [3],[4] and altering mitochondrial dysfunction has been postulated as a target for the treatment of AD together with treatment of insulin resistance—a root cause of type 2 diabetes.[5],[6],[7] 

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[3] Parihar, M.S., Brewer G.J.  Mitoenergetic failure in Alzheimer disease. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 292, C8-C23 (2007). 
[4] Swerdlow, R.H.  Brain aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and mitochondria.  Biochim Biophys Acta 1812, 1630-1639 (2011). 
[5] Silva, D.F., Selfridge J.E., Lu , J., et al.  Mitochondrial abnormalities in Alzheimer’s disease: possible targets for therapeutic intervention.  Adv Pharmacol  64, 83-126 (2012). 
[6] de la Monte, S.M. Brain insulin resistance and deficiency as therapeutic targets in Alzheimer’s disease. Curr Alz Res 9:35-66 (2012). 
[7] Colca, J.R., Feinstein, D.L.  Altering mitochondrial dysfunction as an approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease. Adv Pharmacol 64: 155-176 (2012).