March 30, 2017 – Glucose and Alzheimer’s


Anchor lead: How does glucose in the brain affect the development of Alzheimer’s disease? Elizabeth Tracey reports

People with Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of glucose in their brain, researchers have known for some time. Now it appears that’s mediated through a protein called p38 that’s involved with insulin and glucose metabolism. Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Lyketsos: It further supports the idea that there may well be this tricking of the brain insulin system that in some people can contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. It gives us a treatment target. If the glucose pathway goes through this single protein then perhaps inhibiting the activation of that protein could have therapeutic benefits. It’s a whole new line of thinking about some cases of Alzheimer’s disease and we’re in bad need to new lines of thinking about how to treat it. So in that sense it’s very good.   :30

Lyketsos notes that this is just one of the ways that Alzheimer’s disease can develop, since other pathways, particularly in those with a familial inheritance pattern, are also well known. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.