Current Diabetes Reports

, 14:476 | Cite as

Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 Diabetes: Multiple Mechanisms Contribute to Interactions

  • Anusha Jayaraman
  • Christian J. PikeEmail author
Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance (RM Watanabe, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance


Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are related disorders with widespread deleterious effects throughout the body. One important target of damage is the brain. Persons with metabolic disorders are at significantly increased risk for cognitive decline and the development of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Our review of available evidence from epidemiologic, clinical, and basic research suggests that neural dysfunction from T2D-related disease results from several underlying mechanisms, including metabolic, inflammatory, vascular, and oxidative changes. The relationships between T2D and neural dysfunction are regulated by several modifiers. We emphasize 2 such modifiers, the genetic risk factor apolipoprotein E and an age-related endocrine change, low testosterone. Both factors are independent risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease that may also cooperatively regulate pathologic interactions between T2D and dementia. Continued elucidation of the links between metabolic disorders and neural dysfunction promises to foster the development of effective therapeutic strategies.


Alzheimer’s disease β-amyloid Apolipoprotein E Diabetes Inflammation Obesity Testosterone Type 2 diabetes Interactions 



This work was supported by NIH grant AG34103 (CJP).

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Anusha Jayaraman declares that she has no conflict of interest. Christian J. Pike declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Davis School of GerontologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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