A Spicy Situation in Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, the fifth leading cause of death in people ages 65 and older, is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by neurofibrillary tangles and a buildup of β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques in the brain …

Type 2 diabetes has shown significant connections to Alzheimer’s disease in insulin resistance and inflammation. Intranasal administration of insulin has been shown to be beneficial to cognition in Alzheimer’s patients. The hypothesis was that insulin sensitizers – metformin, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, and cinnamon – would decrease β-amyloid, but this was not the case. Metformin causes cells to produce double the amount of β-amyloid as untreated cells. Cinnamon causes a 125% increase in β-amyloid. Given these results, insulin sensitizers may be exacerbating the biogenesis of β-amyloid plaques.
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