Type 3 diabetes is a newly discovered disease associated with some very serious consequences. The disease was first recognized in 2005 when scientists discovered that insulin, previously thought to only be produced in the pancreas, was also produced within the brain.
Much is still being learned about this disorder but it is being looked at with much interest because of its apparent link to degeneration of brain cells, which is an early symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
Unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes, which result due to errors in the production of insulin from the pancreas or an issue with resistance to insulin, diabetes type 3 appears to be a more complex disease that originated in the brain.
The brain requires insulin for the survival of its cells. In this type of diabetes, the brain is not able to secrete enough insulin and this leads to brain cell deterioration.
The connection between type 3 diabetes and Alzheimer’s is not fully understood but researchers believe that patients with Alzheimer’s have a protein in their brain that removes insulin receptors from the brain’s cells. This prevents the brain cells from receiving the required insulin and the cells die.
Since its discovery, many theories have developed as to what might cause this disease. One theory is that type 3 diabetes affects people who are overly sensitive to electrical energy and connects the disease to the increased use of electronic devices of the modern age.
This "electropollution" is thought to be generated from items such as computers, televisions, wireless phones and even certain fluorescent light bulbs. Though some research has been done and does show an interesting correlation between electromagnetic fields and diabetes, the true cause of type 3 diabetes has yet to be determined.
Type 3 diabetes is still new and much more research is needed before widespread diagnostic tests and treatments can be made available. However, its discover is thought by some scientists to be a major step forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and dementia disorders.
Researchers now believe that, "Understanding the connection between insulin function and AD might enable discovery of a drug-combination that prevents, delays, or halts progression of sporadic AD" (1).
(1) The New York Academy of Sciences (2009). Is Alzheimer’s Disease type 3 diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.nyas.org/events/Detail.aspx?cid=53b416ce-0991-4826-893f-645016004019