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Young People With Diabetes Face Higher Alzheimer’s Risk, Study Finds

Daniel Kim Views  

Researchers have found that teenagers and young adults with diabetes face an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

A study published in Endocrines reveals that teenagers and young adults with diabetes have a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

According to previous studies, adults with diabetes have a 60-80% higher possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia compared to those without diabetes.

Moreover, the research team investigated the correlation between diabetes pathophysiology and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, focusing on the impact of early-onset diabetes in teenagers and young adults on Alzheimer’s disease.

A research team from the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus analyzed data from 25 type 1 diabetes patients and 25 type 2 diabetes patients from the SEARCH cohort.

The average age of the youngest patient group was 15, and the young adult patients were about 27 years old, with women making up 59% of the patients. In addition, 25 teenagers aged 15 and 21 young adults with an average age of around 25 were recruited as a control group.

Researchers analyzed plasma samples from the SEARCH cohort to observe the presence of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers. The experts selected 7 diabetes patients and 6 control group participants to undergo PET brain scans.

The study found that early-onset diabetes patients had higher levels of blood biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The research team further reported that teenagers and young adults with diabetes had higher levels of amyloid proteins in the brain areas related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Although clusters of amyloid and tau proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease were found in the brain areas of patients with high levels of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers in their PET scans, there was no statistically significant difference compared to the control group.

The research team noted that the study’s scale is too small to definitively state that diabetes patients have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and there is a need for longer-term observation of more participants.

The researchers further explained that the Alzheimer’s disease-related biomarkers in early-onset diabetes patients’s consistency of manifest is unknown as they age. However, since adult diabetes patients show similar trends to early-onset diabetes patients, it is expected that the characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease in young adulthood will persist in the future.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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