London: Scientists have identified a genetic link between Alzheimer`s disease and diabetes, a finding they say could open new doors for treating and preventing the disease. It has been known for some time that people with diabetes have a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer`s, but not why this is so. Now, in experiments on worms, researchers from the City College of New York found that a known Alzheimer`s gene also plays a role in the way insulin is processed. A key indication of Alzheimer`s, which can only be seen after death, is the presence of sticky plaques of amyloid protein in decimated portions of patients` brains. It`s known that mutations in a gene involved in the processing of amyloid protein in Alzheimer`s which run in families. Now, the researchers who looked at a similar gene in the nematode worms (C-elegans) found the gene also affected their insulin pathway -- the chemical reactions involved in its production and processing.
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