Impaired insulin signaling and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease

Drugs Today (Barc). 2006 Dec;42(12):785-90. doi: 10.1358/dot.2006.42.12.1032059.


There is a growing interest in possible links between impaired insulin signaling and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Insulin and insulin-signaling mechanisms are important for neuronal survival, and central nervous system neurodegeneration is associated with dysfunctional neuronal insulin receptors. This short review focuses on recent findings that many important components of Alzheimer's disease appear to stem from imbalances in insulin signaling intrinsic to the brain, rather than systemic insulin imbalances, and that treatments aimed at redressing insulin imbalances in the brain could be effective therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Thiazolidinediones / therapeutic use


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I