Scientific researchers have located a link between discrepancies in the brain. Specifically, how it processes glucose and how serious amyloid plaques in the brain may be with regards to Alzheimer’s disease. A new study, conducted with the assistance of the National Institute on Aging and National Institutes of Health, was released in November of 2017.

Scientists tracks levels of glucose in the brain, breaking it down by region. Some of these areas of the brain are known to be vulnerable to the affects of Alzheimer’s, such as the temporal cortex and frontal lobe. The study looked at three different segments of a long running study on human aging, the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Specifically, those already suffering Alzheimer’s symptoms, those who are medically healthy with no signs or diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, and patients who showed no signs of the disease while alive but who were later confirmed to be suffering from Alzheimer’s by post-mortem study.

The study shows issues in how the brain processes glucose, and further found evidence that the severity of Alzheimer’s pathologies can be linked to how the brain handles glucose. Stated simply, higher glucose levels in the brain correlated with the likelihood of showing physical symptoms that could lead to Alzheimer’s.

While this is an important step towards understanding Alzheimer’s better, researchers continue to press for further research.

Key Points:

  • 1How certain areas of the brain deal with glucose has been proven to have an effect on Alzheimer’s.
  • 2The study identified key aspects of the brain’s glycolysis by tracking amino acids levels as they relate to glucose.
  • 3The study’s researchers say this is an important step towards understanding Alzheimer’s better, but is not a final step to a cure.

For the first time, scientists have found a connection between abnormalities in how the brain breaks down glucose and the severity of the signature amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain, as well as the onset of eventual outward symptoms, of Alzheimer’s disease.


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