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Insulin 'could slow or prevent' Alzheimer's-led memory loss

Insulin 'could slow or prevent' Alzheimer's-led memory loss
4th February 2009

Insulin, the chemical regularly used to treat diabetes across the world, has been found to have beneficial effects on people suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

According to the new study by Northwestern University in Chicago, insulin has shield-like properties and is able to deflect toxic proteins which are known to attack parts of the brain responsible for creating and forming memories.

Such proteins - known as ADDLs, or amyloid beta-derived diffusible ligands - are known to attach to brain cells and break down vital synapses.

The research, which has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is supporting the theory that Alzheimer's could be a form of diabetes which affects the brain.

Northwestern's study was carried out in tandem with scientists based at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Formed in 1851, Northwestern University bought its first plot of land in 1853 at over 370 acres, establishing its campus on the shore of Lake Michigan.

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