Diabetes ages the brain

Researchers found accumulations of amyloid beta (abeta) and tau protein in the brains of mice with type 1 diabetes, particularly in vascular areas. The data suggest that changes in astrocytes, which play a key role in maintaining nerve cells in the brain, may be involved.

Both chronic peripheral inflammation and increased non-enzymatic glycation (when proteins bond with sugar molecules) are associated with diabetes, and may act on the brain to alter astrocyte function, which eventually leads to Alzheimer’s-like changes, the researchers say.