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Type 3 diabetes deprives brain of key hormones causing cognition to plummet

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — You may be familiar with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but what about type 3 diabetes? It may come as a surprise, but type 3 diabetes has been an area of research scientists have been studying for decades. 

News 8 spoke with Dr. Malaz Boustani, director of care intervention at Eskenazi Health, who says it’s similar to type 2 diabetes in that a person’s body doesn’t respond to insulin. If a person doesn’t respond to insulin, they can’t metabolize glucose, which is what’s needed for energy, but there is a key difference. 

“Neuroscientists across the country have discovered a similar mechanism of insulin resistance in people who do not have diabetes, but actually have some type of Alzheimer’s disease, and that insulin resistance is inside the brain,” Boustani said. “So the brain is not able to use the glucose very well, and the mechanism may be because it is resisting the insulin.”

Glucose is fuel for the brain. Without it, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will follow. 

Signs and symptoms of type 3 diabetes include memory loss, confusion, poor judgment, agitation, and anxiety as well as problems with reading, writing, and numbers. 

Boustani goes on to say progress continues in the field. Scientists are now testing whether insulin nasal spray can be an effective treatment for type 3 diabetes, and help prevent further cognitive decline.