Type 3 Diabetes and Its Role Implications in Alzheimer's Disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Apr 30;21(9):3165. doi: 10.3390/ijms21093165.


The exact connection between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes is still in debate. However, poorly controlled blood sugar may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's. This relationship is so strong that some have called Alzheimer's "diabetes of the brain" or "type 3 diabetes (T3D)". Given more recent studies continue to indicate evidence linking T3D with AD, this review aims to demonstrate the relationship between T3D and AD based on the fact that both the processing of amyloid-β (Aβ) precursor protein toxicity and the clearance of Aβ are attributed to impaired insulin signaling, and that insulin resistance mediates the dysregulation of bioenergetics and progress to AD. Furthermore, insulin-related therapeutic strategies are suggested to succeed in the development of therapies for AD by slowing down their progressive nature or even halting their future complications.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; hypometabolism; insulin resistance; type 2 diabetes; type 3 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Diabetes Complications / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism*
  • Disease Susceptibility*
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Signal Transduction


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucagon
  • Glucose