Type 3 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease: What You Need to Know

Anju Bisht

, Health A2Z

Everybody knows one or two things about type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, there would be a rare knowledge known among the population about type 3 diabetes. A type of progressive dementia that has been linked to diabetes which is well known as Alzheimer’s disease. Where researches have named it Type 3 Diabetes. Herein, we will have a detailed discussion of this type.


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Alzheimer’s Association with Diabetes


Alzheimer’s is considered as brain diabetes, as it is triggered by insulin resistance in the brain. Leaving out the age factor diabetes and prediabetes are considered as the second biggest risk factor responsible for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Where this link of diabetes and Alzheimer’s is directed towards type 2 diabetes.


Research has found 50% of the population with type 2 diabetes will eventually develop Alzheimer’s whereas having diabetes can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s probably by 65%.


We know that type 2 diabetes is the condition where your body either resists insulin or fails to produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. In most cases, the patient of type 2 diabetes doesn’t know that they have the condition.


As a result, untreated diabetes for a long time can damage blood vessels, including brain vessels. That’s why type 2 diabetes patients have a higher risk of developing the condition.


Various other claims related to diabetes such as high blood sugar causing inflammation that may damage brain cells and a chemical imbalance caused due to diabetes in the brain triggers Alzheimer’s.


This altogether proves the righteous link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s.


Know About Type 3 Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus commonly referred to as diabetes. Understanding in simple terms, diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar level is too high. If somebody brings out a topic like “what are the types of diabetes?”. You may instantly say that there are three forms of diabetes:


1. Type 1 diabetes

2. Type 2 diabetes

3. Gestational diabetes



Now researches have proposed Alzheimer’s a type of diabetes called Type 3 diabetes. After studying the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease who did not have any form of diabetes showing various similar abnormalities as of diabetes, including insulin resistance in the brain. Perhaps this concluded that Alzheimer’s is a type of diabetes in the brain and named it Type 3 diabetes.
Yet type 3 diabetes is not widely accepted by various medical communities and is still very controversial.



Considering the symptoms of type 3 are framed as symptoms of dementia. Those symptoms that are seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms include:
  • Effect on social and daily life due to memory loss


  • Familiar tasks are becoming difficult to complete


  • Frequent Misplacement of thing


  • Difficulty making judgments on information


  • Notable and sudden changes in personality and behavior


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Causes and Risk Factors Involved


Researchers have framed that type 2 diabetes likely increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia (a type of dementia). Another study said women with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing vascular dementia compared to men. Yet, it is not to be considered as the sole cause of the disease.


Where the risk factors associated with diabetes include


Risk of heart diseases which may damage the blood vessels that may contribute to reduced blood flow to the brain. Consequently causing dementia.


Excessive insulin which may disrupt the brain cell functioning ultimately causing Alzheimer’s


Upraised blood sugar which can cause inflammation and further leading to damage of the brain cells. Altogether triggering Alzheimer’s.




Though there are no specific tests for this type still Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed by:


  • Neurological examination
  • Medical history
  • Neurophysiological testing
  • MRI and CT scans can give a picture of your functioning


Furthermore, a healthcare provider may ask you for a fasting blood sugar test and a glycated hemoglobin test, if you have the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.




Lastly yet importantly- if you already have type 2 diabetes you better start managing it and lower the risk of developing type 3. Start with monitoring your cholesterol, maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy food and regular monitoring your blood sugar.

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