A new study has revealed a “tipping point” molecular link between the blood sugar glucose and the devastating disease of Alzheimer’s -- a type of dementia that causes issues with memory, thinking and even behavior.
Establishing the link for the first time, the study showed that excess blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia) damage a crucial enzyme that is involved with inflammation response to the initial stages of the Alzheimer's disease.
Hyperglycaemia has long been known as a characteristic of health conditions diabetes and obesity, but its link to the Alzheimer's disease was previously not known. Abnormal proteins get amassed to create plaques and tangles in the patient’s brain, progressively damaging the brain and lead to harsh cognitive decline.
The link was detected by a team of scientists from the University of Bath Departments of Biology & Biochemistry, the Wolfson Centre for Age Related Diseases, and King’s College London.
Prof. Jean van den Elsen, of University of Bath Department of Biology & Biochemistry, said, “We’ve shown that this enzyme is already modified by glucose in the brains of individuals at the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. We are now investigating if we can detect similar changes in blood.”
The newly-detected link between blood sugar glucose and Alzheimer’s was reported in the Thursday (Feb.23rd) edition of the journal Scientific Reports.