In the early stages of Alzheimer’s glycation damages an enzyme called MIF

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Abnormally high blood sugar levels are linked to Alzheimer’s, and now the mechanism has become clearer:

Diabetes patients have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared to healthy individuals. In Alzheimer’s disease abnormal proteins aggregate to form plaques and tangles in the brain which progressively damage the brain and lead to severe cognitive decline.

Scientists already knew that glucose and its break-down products can damage proteins in cells via a reaction called glycation but the specific molecular link between glucose and Alzheimer’s was not understood.

But now scientists from the University of Bath Departments of Biology and Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacy and Pharmacology, working with colleagues at the Wolfson Centre for Age Related Diseases, King’s College London, have unraveled that link.

By studying brain samples from people with and without Alzheimer’s using a sensitive technique to detect glycation, the team discovered that in the early stages of Alzheimer’s glycation damages an enzyme called MIF (macrophage migration inhibitory factor) which plays a role in immune response and insulin regulation.

MIF is involved in the response of brain cells called glia to the build-up of abnormal proteins in the brain during Alzheimer’s disease, and the researchers believe that inhibition and reduction of MIF activity caused by glycation could be the ‘tipping point’ in disease progression. It appears that as Alzheimer’s progresses, glycation of these enzymes increases.


  1. Ross says:

    Alzheimer’s *is* Type III diabetes. Period.

    Like sugar everywhere else, out of balance glycation affects microvasculature first.

    Kidneys, peripheral capillaries, eyes….neuroglia.

    It may be brain surgery, but it’s not rocket science.

Leave a Reply