The prevalence of both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) is increasing with the aging of the population. Studies from the last several years have shown that people with diabetes have an increased risk for dementia and cognitive impairment. Therefore, the authors of this consensus review tried to elaborate on the role of diabetes, especially diabetes type 2 (T2DM) in both AD and VaD. Based on the clinical and experimental work of scientists from 18 countries participating in the International Congress on Vascular Disorders and on literature search using PUBMED, it can be concluded that T2DM is a risk factor for both, AD and VaD, based on a pathology of glucose utilization. This pathology is the consequence of a disturbance of insulin-related mechanisms leading to brain insulin resistance. Although the underlying pathological mechanisms for AD and VaD are different in many aspects, the contribution of T2DM and insulin resistant brain state (IRBS) to cerebrovascular disturbances in both disorders cannot be neglected. Therefore, early diagnosis of metabolic parameters including those relevant for T2DM is required. Moreover, it is possible that therapeutic options utilized today for diabetes treatment may also have an effect on the risk for dementia. T2DM/IRBS contribute to pathological processes in AD and VaD.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Cognition; Diabetes mellitus; Diabetic brain; Epidemiology of dementive disorders; Experimental model of dementia; Imaging in dementia; Insulin resistance; Neurogenesis in dementia; Neurotransmitters in dementia; Pathology of dementia; Vascular dementia.