A lot of progress has been made in recent months with regard to Alzheimer’s disease research—from a significant connection between heart disease and dementias to the role of oral infections in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, we are learning more every day about the origins and progression of this devastating disease.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that a new study published the journal Neurobiology of Disease recently published a study confirming insulin resistance as a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
Given what is currently known about both insulin resistance/diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, this is promising information that confirms an underlying theme of inflammation—the number one source of which is the mouth. Oral health and diabetes have long been bi-directionally linked, with each increasing risk for and severity of the other. Indeed, some of the first signs of insulin resistance and diabetes show up in the mouth.
It is the inflammatory cascade involved in insulin resistance that also links it with Alzheimer’s disease. The body’s response to inflammation can lead to disruption to insulin, the hormone whose main function is to regulate metabolism but which also influences learning and memory. Thus, chronic inflammation contributes to a significantly increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Reducing the systemic inflammatory burden is crucial to the prevention and management of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, pre-term births, and osteoarthritis as well as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. That’s why it’s so important to take oral inflammation—again, the number one cause of inflammation in humans—off the table when addressing risk for these diseases.