Common features between diabetes mellitus and Alzheimer's disease

J. Götz*, L. M. Ittner, Y.-A. Lim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


Epidemiological studies establish a link between Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and Alzheimer's disease (AD), both leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. These diseases also share clinical and biochemical features suggesting common pathogenic mechanisms. Specifically, both are amyloidoses as they are characterized by fibrillar protein aggregates - amylin in T2DM pancreatic islets, and β-amyloid (Aβ) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in AD brain. Amylin aggregation is associated with pancreatic β-cell loss, and Aβ and NFT formation with neuronal cell loss. We discuss the possibility that amylin and Aβ exert their toxicity by similar mechanisms, with components of the pathocascades shared, and that therapies based on amyloidogenic properties are beneficial for both T2DM and AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1325
Number of pages5
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • β-Amyloid
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amylin
  • Tau
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus


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