Insulin signaling, glucose metabolism and mitochondria: major players in Alzheimer's disease and diabetes interrelation

Sónia C Correia, Renato X Santos, Cristina Carvalho, Susana Cardoso, Emanuel Candeias, Maria S Santos, Catarina R Oliveira, Paula I Moreira

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

105 Citations (Scopus)


Many epidemiological studies have shown that diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, significantly increases the risk to develop Alzheimer's disease. Both diseases share several common abnormalities including impaired glucose metabolism, increased oxidative stress, insulin resistance and deposition of amyloidogenic proteins. It has been suggested that these two diseases disrupt common cellular and molecular pathways and each disease potentiates the progression of the other. This review discusses clinical and biochemical features shared by Alzheimer's disease and diabetes, giving special attention to the involvement of insulin signaling, glucose metabolism and mitochondria. Understanding the key mechanisms underlying this deleterious interaction may provide opportunities for the design of effective therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-78
Number of pages15
JournalBrain Research
Early online date12 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2012



  • Alzheimer Disease/epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/complications
  • Glucose/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin/adverse effects
  • Mitochondria/physiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Signal Transduction/physiology

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