Cultured hippocampal neurons are stained for phosphorylated IRS-1 (red) and Aβ oligomers (AβOs, blue). AβOs are diffusible synaptotoxins that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer disease (AD) patients. Here, a neuron with high level of phorphorylated IRS-1 is under attack by AβOs.
A connection between AD and diabetes has been suggested, but the mechanism that underlies this link is unclear. In this article, Bomfim et al. describe evidence of dysregulated insulin signaling in the brains of AD patients and animal models, and suggest that anti-diabetic medications might have efficacy in treating the cognitive deficits associated with AD.