Scientists claim that men who develop diabetes in mid-life have a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease later in life.
The study, presented by Elina Ronnemaa of Uppsala University in Sweden, involved 2,269 men aged 50 years, who were tested for diabetes. During an average follow up 32 years later, 102 participants were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers claim the study found that men with low levels of insulin at the age of 50 years were nearly one and a half times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than people without insulin problems.
“A number of previous studies have linked Type 2 diabetes to Alzheimer's disease and we already know that Type 2 diabetes is considered to be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease", said Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK.
“This latest study has found that the men who took part - who did not necessarily have Type 2 diabetes but had an impaired ability to secrete insulin - are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease in the future.
“The authors suggest that damage to the blood vessels in the brain due to the lack of insulin may contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease but admit that more work is needed to pinpoint the exact mechanisms involved. We will be watching the development of this area of research with interest.”