Although no one yet knows all the details of what is happening, few scientists in the field doubt that insulin and IGF-1 are crucial players in neurodegenerative disease. Many are working on potential treatments that restore normal insulin function in the hopes of mitigating or even preventing neurodegeneration. For example, compounds that improve insulin response in the brain and body have been shown to lessen cognitive decline in early-stage Alzheimer’s patients. “It is so exciting,” de la Monte says. “The fact that we have some way to go after it is really cool.”
This article was originally published with the title Your Brain on Diabetes.