Linking Diabetes to Alzheimer's Disease: Potential Roles of Glucose Metabolism and Alpha-Glucosidase

Ai Sze Wee, Thao Dinh Nhu, Kooi Yeong Khaw, Kim San Tang, Keng Yoon Yeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Alzheimer's disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) are more prevalent with ageing and cause a substantial global socio-economic burden. The biology of these two conditions is well elaborated, but whether AD and type 2 DM arise from coincidental roots in ageing or are linked by pathophysiological mechanisms remains unclear. Research findings involving animal models have identified mechanisms shared by both AD and type 2 DM. Deposition of β-amyloid peptides and formation of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles are pathological hallmarks of AD. Type 2 DM, on the other hand, is a metabolic disorder characterised by hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance. Several studies show that improving type 2 DM can delay or prevent the development of AD, and hence, prevention and control of type 2 DM may reduce the risk of AD later in life. Alpha-glucosidase is an enzyme that is commonly associated with hyperglycaemia in type 2 DM. However, it is uncertain if this enzyme may play a role in the progression of AD. This review explores the experimental evidence that depicts the relationship between dysregulation of glucose metabolism and AD. We also delineate the links between alpha-glucosidase and AD and the potential role of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors in treating AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2036-2048
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Alpha-glucosidase
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • amyloid beta-peptides
  • apolipoprotein E
  • diabetes mellitus
  • hyperglycaemia
  • tau proteins

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