Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the major causative disease of dementia and is characterized pathologically by the accumulation of senile plaques (SPs) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain. Although genetic studies show that β-amyloid protein (Aβ), the major component of SPs, is the key factor underlying AD pathogenesis, it remains unclear why advanced age often leads to AD. Interestingly, several epidemiological and clinical studies show that type II diabetes mellitus (DM) patients are more likely to exhibit increased susceptibility to AD. Moreover, growing evidence suggests that there are several connections between the neuropathology that underlies AD and DM, and there is evidence that the experimental induction of DM can cause cognitive dysfunction, even in rodent animal models. This mini-review summarizes histopathological evidence that DM induces AD pathology in animal models and discusses the possibility that aberrant insulin signaling is a key factor in the induction of AD pathology.
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