Type 3 Diabetes
Type 3 diabetes is a controversial name sometimes used to refer to Alzheimer’s disease, a type of progressive dementia. Strong links have been made between the two conditions, most notably that dementia may be triggered by a type of insulin resistance occurring specifically in the brain. It has been known for several years that being overweight and having Type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. But researchers are now beginning to talk about another form of diabetes- Type 3 diabetes. This form of diabetes is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Type 3 diabetes occurs when neurons in the brain become unable to respond to insulin, which is essential for basic tasks, including memory and learning.
Note that Type 3 diabetes is not the same as Type 3c diabetes mellitus (also called T3cDM or pancreatogenic diabetes), a secondary condition that may arise as other pancreatic diseases.
The pancreas has both endocrine and exocrine glands and they have their respective functions. Insulin is one of the hormones that beta-islet cells in the islets of Langerhans, which is endocrine pancreas tissue, produce and secrete.
When the exocrine pancreas becomes diseased and then causes a secondary insult to the endocrine pancreas that ultimately leads to DM, this is T3cDM. Exocrine pancreatic diseases that may lead to T3cDM include pathology such as –
• Chronic pancreatitis
• Cystic fibrosis
• Exocrine pancreatic cancer
The symptoms of type 3 diabetes are essentially the same as the symptoms of early dementia, which, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, include –
• Difficulty completing once-familiar tasks, such as driving to the grocery store.
• Confusion with time or place.
• Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
• Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships, such as difficulty with reading or balance.
• Mood or personality changes.
• Challenges in planning or problem-solving.
• Frequently misplacing things and being unable to retrace your steps.
It has been concluded that the term Type 3 diabetes accurately reflects the fact that Alzheimer’s disease is a form of diabetes that affects the brain.
For this condition, Alzheimer’s disease is a neuroendocrine disease involving impaired insulin and insulin-like growth factor ( IGF) signaling. The condition can also involve inflammation and oxidative stress.
Insulin-degrading enzymes may shift-type 2 diabetes to type 3 diabetes by altering metabolic pathways. This process may result in oxidative stress and beta-amyloid in the brain, which are both characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease.
Risk Factors –
The potential risk factors for developing type 3 diabetes include –
• a diet high in calories, sugar, and fat and low in fiber
• exposure to stress
• lack of physical activity
• low socioeconomic status
• race and ethnicity
• birth weight
• family history
There is no specific test for Type 3 diabetes. Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed based on –
• a neurological examination
• medical history
• neurophysiological testing
Imaging studies, such as MRI and CT scans of the head, may give your healthcare provider a picture of how your brain is working.
If you do have type 2 diabetes, you must begin treatment for it immediately. Treating type 2 diabetes could minimize damage to your body, including your brain, and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Lifestyle changes, such as making changes to your diet and including exercise in your daily, maybe a big part of your treatment.
A diet low in fat and rich in fruits and vegetables can help improve symptoms.
If you smoke, quitting smoke is recommended because it can also manage your condition.
If you have both type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s treatment for your type 2
diabetes is important to help slow the progression of dementia.
Metformin and insulin are anti-diabetes drugs that may also reduce the risk of developing diabetes-induced brain damage.
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors like donepezil, galantamine, or rivastigmine can be prescribed to improve the way that your body’s cells communicate with one another.
Memantine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, may also help to reduce symptoms and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Other symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementia types, like mood swings and depression, may be treated with psychotropic drugs. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are part of treatment in some cases.
If you can treat your diabetes with diet, exercise, and medication, researchers who promote the diagnosis of types diabetes suggest that you may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia.
The factors that prevent types 3 diabetes includes –
• Increasing physical activity
• Monitoring blood pressure
• Doing cognitive training
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