Scientists claim they have uncovered new evidence linking insulin resistance to a disorder of the brain.
Researchers at Northwestern University in America say that when the brain prevents the insulin from acting properly the ensuing chemical imbalance could help trigger Alzheimer's disease.
"Type 3 diabetes" claim
The researchers think the link is so strong that they have started calling Alzheimer's disease "Type 3 diabetes".
The research suggests that a protein present in the brain of people with dementia binds to the tips of nerve endings. This makes them resistant to insulin, which is crucial to the brain's ability to learn and store and recall memories.
Dr William Klein who led the research says this means drugs for Type 2 diabetes might be used to treat Alzheimer's.
More research needed
“There have been studies which suggest there is a link between Alzheimer's and diabetes, said Libby Dowling, Diabetes UK Care Advisor.
"However, more research is needed before we can draw any firm conclusions."