Alterations of the insulin signaling cascade underlie cognitive decline and the development of several neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, a great interest has been put in studying the interaction between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In fact, evidence shows that both diseases present several biochemical similarities including defects in the insulin signaling pathway. Here, we give an overview of the main functions of insulin in the central nervous system. The impact of insulin signaling impairment in brain aging and AD is also discussed. Finally, we present evidence supporting the notion that insulin is a link between diabetes and AD.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2012 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors are grateful to Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (FCT, project PTDC/SAU-TOX/117481/2010; PTDC/SAU-NMC/110990/2009; PTDC/SAU-NEU/103325/2008), Po-tugal and Programa de Estı muloa Investigacao da Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal (PMADSC/2011) for financial support.
- Alzheimer Disease/genetics
- Diabetes Mellitus/genetics
- Gene Expression
- Insulin Resistance
- Insulin-Like Growth Factor I/genetics
- Receptor, IGF Type 1/genetics
- Risk Factors
- Signal Transduction