Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Biotech Science

Alzheimer's Could Be a Third Form of Diabetes 251

Atzanteol writes "Insulin, it turns out, may be as important for the mind as it is for the body. Research in the last few years has raised the possibility that Alzheimer's memory loss could be due to a novel third form of diabetes. Scientists at Northwestern University have discovered why brain insulin signaling — crucial for memory formation — would stop working in Alzheimer's disease."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Alzheimer's Could Be a Third Form of Diabetes

Comments Filter:
  • First ? (Score:5, Funny)

    by deniable ( 76198 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @05:19AM (#20820789)
    What was I doing?
    • by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <> on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:11AM (#20821239)
      You make new friends every day!

      Haha, "New friends every day." Get it?! LOL.

      It's not so funny when it happens to you or your family. Wait until someone you know gets it. You won't be laughing anymore.

      Haha, that guy has a limp. Haha, that woman is blind. Haha, that kid is retarded. Hahaha. Fucking hilarious.

      Whatever you do, don't get Alzheimer's disease. It sucks.

      My grandmother just turned 94 and has advanced Alzheimer's disease. She can barely walk anymore. I devote a few hours of my life every single day to caregiving. If you've never known someone like this, you really have no idea what's involved. Yeah, we could put her in a home. We could watch her die sooner that way, wearing diapers and ceaselessly, hopelessly calling out for someone to please take her home. As it is now, she wears diapers, but at least we always change them. In nursing homes, they don't.

      Have you ever had someone you know and love, who helped raise you and even changed *your* diapers and then helped teach you how to count and how to read and how to do puzzles and math and typing and how to play games, who taught you the names of the plants that grow out in the back yard? And now she can smile and say "Hello", and tell you to get the hell out because she don't know who you are a moment later?

      That's Alzheimer's. You can be helping to manage her most intimate financial affairs completely honestly, you can be doing her laundry and getting her medicine and bringing her groceries and cooking her meals and washing her dishes and vacuuming her floors and helping her get to the doctor and even wiping her ass, when she cannot do it herself anymore, and yet she'll still tell you she loves you one night, and the next morning she wants you to go away, go to hell, or just please, please take her home. Because she doesn't know what home means anymore. She's already at home, and she doesn't know who you are anymore.

      She knows what she knew in 1920 or 1930 sometimes, funny stories she can still tell sometimes, but she mixes up everyone's names; she doesn't know who is who anymore. She used to speak three languages, English, German, and French. But now she often speaks gibberish, a weird combination of whatever words she still can recall. She can't always understand simple sentences. She's like a kid who cannot learn.

      Alzheimer's sucks; nursing homes suck. Go visit one someday if you doubt me. My grandmother's genes and her circumstances allowed her to outlive two of her children. She never got cancer, but that's what killed her elder son at 50. She had a heart attack thirty years ago, but she didn't die of heart disease. That's what killed her elder daughter at 60. Yet my grandmother lives on, as her mind slowly disintegrates.

      She still likes to watch children playing, or to meet a drooling baby, maybe a child of someone who helps care for her, brought over to visit. She still likes to pet her cats and smile and watch them roll on the floor with catnip at her feet, she still can interface with her two grandchildren, she still has a sense of humor that we all can understand and sometimes laugh about together.

      She doesn't know what year it is or what day it is, and sometimes she can't remember how to properly hold a spoon (or she'll try drinking from it like a straw). But she especially likes bananas and squash and sweet potatoes and chocolate chip cookies. I know this because I'm there sometimes to remind her to take another bite. She says "This is good, thank you!"

      And sometimes when you help lift her into bed at night, she'll tell you she loves you. I guess that helps make it all worthwhile.

      Anyway, this is what will happen to you if you don't die of anything else or get hit by a bus before your brain starts to degrade. I suppose it hasn't been all bad, I have learned a lot caring for my grandmother. But she is no longer able to offer her opinion. [yeah, it's my own copypasta, but it's relevant]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You can also hide your own easter eggs.

        Yes, I've had family with the disease. Yes it's depressing to watch.

        I also joke with my mother about her cancer. Being able to laugh at such things isn't necessarily a bad thing.

      • by kooky45 ( 785515 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:40AM (#20821331)
        That's the saddest, most frightening, and heart warming post of any kind I've read for years, certainly on /. CmdrTaco should put it in the all time top 100 to remind people there's more to life, and death, than technology.
      • by deniable ( 76198 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:49AM (#20821357)
        You know, pretty much all humor will offend someone if they're in a place to be offended.

        Because you know me so well, I won't tell you about my great grandmother's last years or about her daughter who's getting to that age now.

        Bottom line, if writing this helps you get by, then bring it on.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Aggrajag ( 716041 )
        IAAMN (I am a male nurse) and I treat people with varying degrees of dementia (some caused by Alzheimer's) every day and I know how sad it is to see their condition degrading, which sometimes happens very rapidly. Your story about your grandmother is for me "just another day at work".

        Anyway, I just cannot get my mind wrapped around the idea of a nursing home where the staff doesn't even change patients diapers as it is a normal procedure for me with most of my patients, normally at least twice per shift.
        • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @09:41AM (#20822153) Homepage Journal
          "Twice per shift" is not the same as "when needed".
          Or, to translate to geek speak, it's not the frequency that sucks, it's the latency.

          As long as nursing staff have to schedule things and the patients can't adjust to a fixed schedule, their need is not met 100%. That's not a criticism of the nurses and aides, who tend to be very fine people doing the best they can, but it's just that the best they can isn't optimal.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Aggrajag ( 716041 )
            Well, I am in a good position (or my patients are) so that I can change their diapers when needed. Normally I just take them to the bathroom so a diaper isn't actually needed, it is there just in case.
      • by rve ( 4436 )
        My grandmother lived for another decade after altzheimers disease had destroyed her ability to speak or to recognise her family. A wonderful, sweet and graceful lady reduced to a frightened, screaming animal.

        I was weak and useless kid and couldn't bear visiting her anymore during the last few years of her life.

        When I'm diagnosed with altzheimers, I will take up skydiving.
        • We have a deal in our family - anyone gets anywhere near as bad as our aunt, just "take us behind the barn and shoot us."

          Or give us the means to "do it ourselves". We'll have a big going-away party ahead of time, and another one (a wake) after the deed is done.

          Why people insist on prolonging the inevitable is beyond me. We let what's left of old people rattle around in their empty heads, but we wouldn't let the family dog suffer nearly as much.

          Once the brain is gone, they're dead. The body might still function, more or less, but the person is gone. Show some compassion, stop being so selfish ("I don't want to lose them") and do the right thing; put what's left out of its misery, and end the suffering of everyone else around them.

          And don't give me any of that "life is sacred" crap. When the brain is gone, they're gone. The rest is just an empty shell. That's not life.

      • This reply has no other purpose than to tell you what you already know--that you are doing a good thing. Your next-to-last paragraph contains the truth: Somewhere, in some part of her mind and brain, she still does love you.
      • "And now she can smile and say "Hello", and tell you to get the hell out because she don't know who you are a moment later?"

        And see you downstairs, then follow you upstairs (when she could still manage them) and tell you about the horrible woman downstairs, then follow you downstairs and tell you about the horrible woman upstairs.. etc.. etc. Yeah, been there, done that. Along with the constant "Who is going to take me home tonight? You are playing tricks on me. Where is my husband? Where is momma? Where is
      • Hey, I know where you are, my grandmother was completely away because of Alzheimer's for a whole decade. Only thing she did in that time was walk around and mumble half-remembered words.

        Before that, she kept asking to go back to the family mill (water-powered, burned down in 1935) and see her father. Strangely, she never forgot my grandfather until she couldn't say his name anymore. He had almost worn himself out caring for her before we took her to a nursing home; maintaining a 24h surveilance can't
        • "have a certified nurse come at home a few days a week"

          Be very careful here. I had one that ended up sneaking out a gas card (and running up over 1k on it before we found out, since she went to get the mail every day), our formal silverware set and a box full of my videogames (and gods knows what else that I don't know about). Sad thing was that I had become best friends with her (or so I thought). Trust scams really, really suck.
      • by siriuskase ( 679431 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @09:57AM (#20822397) Homepage Journal
        And sometimes when you help lift her into bed at night, she'll tell you she loves you. I guess that helps make it all worthwhile.

        But, it's awfully hard to convince yourself that it's true.

        There is a big difference between the care provided by you who have known the lady in better days and the caregiver for whom she is just another day at the office. But, there is a place for both. You know who she was and love and respect her for all that stuff in your past. But, you didn't choose to be a care giver. You have less time and energy for what comes more easily for you. That makes the care giving tasks much harder. Knowing who she was makes it especially painful. .The professional caregiver can be more detached emotionally. Plus, since they chose the job, they are not in a position to regret.

        You don't need to put your grandmother in a "home" to get help. Unless she is ill, you don't need a nurse, either. In the US, a nurse is a skilled medical person with a degree and much too expensive for diaper changning. But, you can arrange for someone to come in for a few hours a day to deal with bathing her, feeding her, changing her,etc, in her own home. It would take a lot of the unpleasantness out of your relationship and allow you to have some life of your own.

        About the people who work as care givers - not all of them are losers who do it because they have no work ethic or can't get a better job, some actually like working with people and have a proper attitude that gets them through the unpleasantness of it. You have the older ladies who seeminly love everyone and get great persoanal satsifaction out of making your life better and you also get young immigrants who are glad to be working in the US and have dreams of doing bigger things, but are professional enough to do a good job as a caregiver while going to school.

        The biggest problem is finding them. The government doesn't do this sort of thing, so you need to learn about all kinds of private agencies. There are lots of them, some are better than others. They don't have big marketing campaigns, and are more likely to advertise for fundraising rather than services. And the ones who are best at fundrasing are necessarily the best at services, plus the advertisiing is aimed at people with money, not people who need the services. But, that's a whole nother discussion.

        The point is, one person shouldn't devote several hours a day to unpleasant tasks made even more unpleasant by being too familiar with the person they are caroing for. I would never want my grandchild sacrificing his/her life to keep me clean. I would simply want him/her to be physically close enough to make sure that I am clean and feel loved.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nimey ( 114278 )
        Yup. My grandfather had Alzheimer's for a few years before he finally died.

        If I find out I'm getting that and there's not a cure yet, I'll get my affairs in order and suicide as soon as possible.

        It pisses me off that the Law says you can't perform assisted suicide even for these poor bastards who have no quality of life any longer, even if they are known to not want to live in that situation. My mother has made her wishes known and I'd have to risk jail if she needs help.
      • What's your point? "Alzheimer's sucks?" Yeah, but I'm sure that's not news to any of the people you are chastising for making jokes. They are aware of that fact. The difference between them and you is that they opt for humor while you opt for a mopey, self-righteous pity party. My grandma is getting it, too, but I thought the "It's 2067" joke was hilarious.
      • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @11:05AM (#20823405) Homepage
        Not a story about Alzheimer's, but close:

        My wife's grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease before we met. When I first met him, he walked with a walker and occasionally froze up, but was otherwise ok. Over the years, he needed more and more help doing every day chores. He couldn't eat by himself. His memory started being affected. (I thought t He also fell over more and more. When he fell, he couldn't help you lift him back up. I don't know how many people here have tried lifting up a man who can't help you out. Imagine trying to lift a 180 pound sack of sand. It's not easy. I hurt my back a few times when I came over to help.

        After awhile, Beth's grandmother realized that she couldn't take care of him herself. As painful as it was, we put him in a nursing home. Over the years, he would get worse and then get better. One day he would be talking about things that went on at work "yesterday" (really decades ago), the next he would be completely lucid. He would be hallucinating (likely from his meds) and then he would be crystal clear. Unfortunately, the lucid days got fewer and further in between and his body gave out on him more and more.

        He passed away this past April and, while everyone was sad, in a way it was a blessing. His mind and body were all but completely gone and he had been near death quite a few times. We all saw his passing as an end to his suffering. At his funeral, people told stories about him pre-Parkinson's (before I met him). He apparently loved going on the floor to do puzzles with his kids and was pretty active. To see a man as active mentally and physically as that be reduced to a drooling shell of a man is a fate I wouldn't wish on anyone.
    • by aliquis ( 678370 )
      It's not only short term memory loss which is the problem. I don't know how far my dad have gone but he got rather upset when he couldn't figure out what way to turn the batteries in a flashlight, forgot where to put the keys in the car (yeah, you should drive then!), can't dress himself, can't "see"/find stuff sometimes, forget the way to the toilet.

      And at those times you are still clear enough to know what you are doing and that you failed, and that there will only be worse things to come.

      It must be so fu
  • Avoid Alazheimers (Score:4, Informative)

    by maroberts ( 15852 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @05:30AM (#20820835) Homepage Journal
    Be conscientious!! []

    Suggestions for who is at risk follow.... :-)
    • by Xiph ( 723935 )
      On the other hand, if you completely ignore self-discipline, alzheimers won't really change your way of life.
      Oh well, I'd better get back to.. .. .. whatever i was doing..

      Ooooh, a shiny new game!
  • Hmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @05:42AM (#20820895) Homepage Journal
    At Best Buy the other day (hate the store, but no Fry's around here), saw that they were selling "Alzheimer" brand memory sticks.

    While I understand (upon doing a double take and inspecting the package) that it is meant to support an Alzheimer association, I can't help but think that it's not a good marketing combination.

    That said, I have diabetes from one grandfather and Alzheimers from my grandma, both of my dad's parents... crap.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      If you want to avoid dementia (who doesn't) then the best advice is to simply to eat healthily and be socially and physically active. The strongest known modifiable risk factors for dementia are poor midlife health (obesity, vascular disease, blood pressure, diabetes etc), low education and low social activity. This is especially important if you have a genetic susceptibility.
      • I think it could be hard to prove that there's a link to low education. How do you prove something's getting stupider when he already starts pretty low?

        Not to say that all people without good education have an IQ room temperature, but ya know, there is a certain undenyable correlation...
        • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Informative)

          by stranger_to_himself ( 1132241 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:40AM (#20821139) Journal

          You're right, it is hard. Especially because of the link between low education, underlying intelligence and subsequent occupation and lifestyle. Also, as you point out, the instruments for detecting cognitive decline must be sensitive to eduction, and one current method is to use a educationally-adjusted cut-off on the cognition scales.

          Having said all of this the evidence for a link to education after taking all of the above into account is pretty compelling and is no longer disputed. The mechanism for this though is still unclear, and there's certainly no evidence that playing 'brain training' games can in any way make up for it. The current best theory that we have is that people who are better educated have better 'cognitive reserve', by which we mean the ability for the brain to re-wire itself and compensate when a disease like AD occurs.

    • That said, I have diabetes from one grandfather and Alzheimers from my grandma, both of my dad's parents... crap.
      That's what the diapers are for.
      • > &gt: That said, I have diabetes from one grandfather and Alzheimers from my grandma, both of my dad's parents... crap.

        > That's what the diapers are for.

        I hear NASA's hiring. Look at the bright side - you could take a one-way trip to Mars, and if you get lucky just forget about not being able to make the trip back ...

  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @05:45AM (#20820911) Homepage
    Currently, there are a number of trials of therapies that target amyloid ß proteins. Some are on the verge of phase III testing approval by the FDA. We may soon be looking at the end of Alzheimer's as a life destroying disease.
    • by Frans Faase ( 648933 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:12AM (#20821019) Homepage
      Could you please provide some pointers. My wife is suffering from Early-Onset Alzheimers disease and is still in the early stages of the disease. I am not asking for a cure, only something that could stabilize her current state.
      • by stox ( 131684 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:46AM (#20821345) Homepage
        Eli Lily's LY450139, and Wyeth/Elan's Bapineuzamab, are working on trial protocols, and should be starting phase III trials in the next few months. Calling their headquarters may provide information on how to apply for the trials. You may also be able to find information at []
        • by Frans Faase ( 648933 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @08:47AM (#20821615) Homepage
          I understand that the results for the phase II trials for Bapineuzumab are only due next year. I also understand that in the past trials where stopped because of life threatening complications.

          LY411575 also seems to be associated with side effects. Two patients where withdrawn during a trial in 2004.

          From this, I conclude that we are not close to a safe medication to cure Alzheimer's Disease in the near future. All medications that have been developed sofar only show a delay in the development of the disease in a part of the patients. One should realize that the cause and the mechanism behind Alzheimer's Disease are not very well understood and that there are competing theories, where "Alzheimer's Could Be a Third Form of Diabetes" is just one of them.

          • I'm sure that almost any treatment would have side effects, some of which may be very serious in some patients. Chemotherapy kills people, but if they'd die from the cancer anyhow it can be worth a calculated risk. Right now, Alzheimer's is terminal and the damage is irreversible (ie, letting a patient wait a few more years to see if we get a better treatment may very well render them untreatable) - I would be surprised if severe side effects in a very small minority of patients (in other words, two out of
          • It sounds like you have a capability for doing research and a very good reason to be passionate about finding a solution. So why don't you? I'm not saying that you open your own lab and start conducting medical trials, but gathering all all the scientific papers, analyzing them closely, understanding all that they are talking about, and writing your own meta analysis could be helpful if done in a scientific way. Form an online community of like thinkers, not those just desperately searching for a cure, but
            • Although my wife is still able to do many daily things, such as shoppings and house keeping, I have felt emotionally drained for years. We have an almost 10 year old son with mental handicaps, and, what is maybe even worse, I have to deal with an almost 13 teenage girl who has had a very bad relationship with her mother for many years (many due to the behaviour of my wife). I often feel like being a single parent with two teenagers and a 4 year old child, who often have problems with each other. My wife al

        • Even if you get into the trial, there's no guarantee you'll actually get the treatment. You're just as likely to get a placebo and watch your relative's health deteriorate further.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 )
      You know, this is one of the few occasions where I kinda worry about the lengthy process of getting drugs past the FDA. While I generally agree with a good and through testing of medication (hey, it's my life we're talking here!), and it should be tougher (much tougher!) for a lot of unnecessary and non-life saving drugs, I dunno if I would mind being a guinea pig when the choice is only to maybe die from the drug or certainly from the disease.
      • by jimicus ( 737525 )
        I dunno if I would mind being a guinea pig when the choice is only to maybe die from the drug or certainly from the disease.

        If my understanding is correct, Alzheimer's is a lot worse than that.

        You don't generally die of it.

        You die because you're generally also fairly frail and you had a nasty fall because your co-ordination isn't so good any more. In doing so you broke a bone and were in the awkward position of being too frail to operate on and too badly hurt to leave alone.
  • Smoking? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by goose-incarnated ( 1145029 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @05:55AM (#20820959) Journal
    I've heard rumours that smoking drives down the possibility
    of brain-related diseases (alzheimers(sp?), parkinsons).

    Anyone care to comment?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gblues ( 90260 )
      You can't get Alzheimers if you die of lung cancer first.
    • by Burb ( 620144 )
      Maybe because smoking decreases your life expectancy so you don't get old enough to get dementia? OK, this is an uninformed comment (IANA medical researcher) but I suspect it has a grain of truth.
    • Smoking probably reduces the probability you'd live long enough to develop alzheimers.

    • Re:Smoking? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stranger_to_himself ( 1132241 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:13AM (#20821021) Journal

      The previous comments, that smoking causes a 'differential mortality' that biassed the early studies are basically right. The current consensus, based on prospective studies that do not suffer from these problems is that smoking slightly raises your risk of Alzheimer's disease.

      Smoking is also a major risk factor for stroke and other vascular disease, that lead to 'multi-infarct' or 'vascular' dementia, which accounts for just as many dementia cases as AD. So to help avoid dementia, give up smoking.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

    • Re:Smoking? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:34AM (#20821123) Homepage Journal
      Studies about this give WIDELY different results, with the most significant correlation being whether the funder of the study is an anti-smoking organization or not.
      Cutting through the propaganda from both sides by comparing various Alzheimer's Disease (AD) studies and how they were done, it appears to me that:

      Compared to people who have never smoked,
      Previous smokers may have an increased risk of AD.
      Smokers without the APOE-4 gene may have an equal risk of AD.
      Smokers with the APOE-4 gene may have a lessened risk of AD.

      For people who have already contracted AD, tobacco use may lessen the symptoms.

      The positive or negative effects may not be due to nicotine; studies on just nicotine appear to disagree (what a shocker!) and be more inconclusive than thosed based on tobacco use.

      There's plenty of research material out there on the web. Just don't believe any one study, because they conflict quite a bit. In particular, pay attention to whether "non-smoker" and "smoker" excludes or includes previous smokers or users of other forms of tobacco, and ask yourself why. In many cases, the classification appears to be selected to support the desired result.
      Also, some of the studies appear to use cherry-picked subjects, like men who are former war veterans (and thus likely to have a bunch of diseases related to that) or people from groups that have special lifestyles (like adventists who neither smoke nor eat much meat).
      In other words, be skeptical, follow the money trail, and don't believe the first study you see.
    • "I've heard rumours that smoking drives down the possibility of brain-related diseases (alzheimers(sp?), parkinsons)"

      was: Re:Smoking?
    • Simple. Smoking shortens average life expectancy, therefor moving you into a different scale for average chance of getting Alzheimer or Parkinsons.

      Suicide also seems to drive down your chances of getting Alzheimer...
    • Please mod this up.

      Alzheimer's, diabetes, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease (which kicks in around age 25!) are all thought to be caused by an overactive immune system attacking YOU instead of some disease inside you.

      There is strong scientific evidence that smoking helps stop at least one form of immune system disease--IBD. The mechanism is not known, so it is certainly conceivable that smoking helps other forms of the disease.

      People don't die of lung cancer at 25, so the other posters should keep t
  • Just say this article [] on the BBC.
    According to the article:

    The Rush University Medical Center in Chicago examined nearly 1,000 Catholic nuns, priests and brothers. Those who rated themselves highly conscientious had an 89% lower risk of Alzheimer's than those who thought they were the least self-disciplined. The study appears in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.
  • Did Ronald Reagan eat too many jellybeans?
  • by gbobeck ( 926553 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:08AM (#20821009) Homepage Journal
    Technically, wouldn't Alzheimer's be the Fourth type of Diabetes.

    Type 1, Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (alias "Juvenile Diabetes")

    Type 2, Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (alias "adult-onset diabetes")

    (Type 3) Gestational Diabetes

    (Type 4, implied by TFA) Alzheimer's

    As a side note, this comment was posted by a Type 1 diabetic.
    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @07:10AM (#20821235)
      There are almost 60 subtypes of diabetes, according to the latest studies. Although for convenience we like to keep them in two major groups.

      Do try to keep up with the times.
    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
      Also, while the "root cause" might be insulin-related in Alzheimer's, the end symptom does not include elevated bloodsugars, which cause frequent urination. Thus Alzheimer's is NOT another form of diabetes, even if it is somehow affected by insulin, as frequent urination does not occur.

      The term Diabetes originates from the Greek word for "to pass through" or "to siphon", referring to one of the most obvious symptoms of elevated bloodsugar, frequent urination. Also, there are forms of diabetes that do not
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by HikingStick ( 878216 )
        Perhaps a better term would be "diabetic spectrum disorder."

        Clinically, high blood sugar levels are one of the results of (symptoms of) diabetes. The underlying condition is either the body's inability to produce and regulate insulin, or the body's inability to utilize insulin. They are classifying Alzheimer's in this broad spectrum, because it appears to have a component of insulin resistance.

        [Written by a Type II for 6 years]
        • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
          Yes, but in the case of diabetes, the disease is defined by the final symptom, not the root cause.

          The root cause serves to differentiate between the various causes of the final symptom (excessive urination due to elevated sugar levels in the blood), allowing the disease to be subcategorized. (Type I has a different root cause than Type II for example, they are both considered diabetes due to having the same end result.)

          If a disease does not cause excessive urination, it is not diabetes in any form, even if
    • "Diabetes" is way too over-used. One type is (seemingly) an immune disorder, requires many injections per day, can kill in an hour, requires all sorts of monitoring. Another type is (seemingly) due to self-neglect, requires some tablets and some monitoring. Another type (which I don't know much about at all, if it is another "type") is triggered by pregnancy, and now a forth is really just seemingly about the same chemical in the body, but has almost completely different causes and effects. Yes, there's
      • (The third would be gestational, and typically goes away after pregnancy, but not always. My grandmother was gestational, but it turned into Type 1 afterwards. My wife had it, but recovered.)

        The naming is unfortunate. My 4-year old son has type 1, and the first thing people think when hearing it is that he ate too much sugar or is a fat couch potato. He's skinny as a rail, rarely eats junk (we never let him, even before diagnosis), and active as any healthy 4-year old.

        We can chalk that up to the nam

  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @06:30AM (#20821101)

    Klein, Grant A. Krafft, formerly at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and now chief scientific officer at Acumen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Caleb E. Finch, professor of biological sciences and gerontology at the University of Southern California, reported the discovery of ADDLs in 1998. Krafft is a co-author of the FASEB Journal paper. Northwestern and USC hold joint patents on the composition and use of ADDLs in neurodisorders.

    The patent rights have been licensed to Acumen Pharmaceuticals, based in South San Francisco, for the development of drugs that treat Alzheimer's disease and other memory-related disorders.
    OK, a patent on a drug that suppresses ADDLs, sure, fine. But a patent on the mechanism/process of how stuff works in the biological world? WTF? Have you read my patent for "A Method and Process for Turning Water, Sunlight and Carbon Dioxide into Glucose and Oxygen"? Gimme a break.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito