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Indian-origin researcher says managing diabetes could help prevent dementia

IANS Mar 26, 2024

An Indian-origin scientist in his research has found that reducing the risk of dementia in Alzheimer's is possible by keeping diabetes well controlled or avoiding it in the first place.

Narendra Kumar, an associate professor at the US-based Texas A&M University, who led the study published in the journal American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, found that diabetes and Alzheimer's disease are strongly linked.

"By taking preventative or amelioration measures for diabetes, we can prevent or at least significantly slow down the progression of the symptoms of dementia in Alzheimer's disease," he said.

Diabetes and Alzheimer's are two of the fastest-growing health concerns globally. Diabetes alters the body's ability to turn food into energy. Alzheimer’s is among the top 10 leading causes of death, according to the study.

The researchers investigated how diet might affect the development of Alzheimer's in people with diabetes.

They discovered that a high-fat diet reduces the expression of a specific protein in the gut called Jak3. Experimental subjects without this protein showed a chain of inflammation from the intestine to the liver and then to the brain. As a result, the experimental subjects displayed Alzheimer 's-like symptoms in the brain, along with cognitive impairment.

The researchers believe that the pathway from the gut to the brain involves the liver.

"Liver being the metaboliser for everything we eat, we think that the path from gut to the brain goes through the liver," Kumar said.

They have been studying the functions of Jak3 for a long time and have found that changes in the expression of Jak3 due to food can lead to leaky gut, resulting in chronic inflammation, diabetes, reduced brain ability to clear toxic substances, and dementia-like symptoms seen in Alzheimer's disease.

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