Can the loss of brain-derived insulin cause Alzheimer’s disease

Dr. James Johnson
University of British Columbia

There are some fundamental questions related to Alzheimer’s disease that have not yet been answered satisfactorily. In some cases, the tools were not previously available to answer these questions. This project will investigate the role of brain insulin in Alzheimer’s disease using new state-of-the-art genetically engineered models because it has the potential to change the way we commonly think about the disease and opens new avenues for prevention and/or treatment.

We recently provided strong evidence that the brain makes a small amount of insulin. We already know that insulin can affect brain cells and the loss of brain insulin has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Our investigation seeks to determine what will happen in brains incapable of making insulin. We have produced the first animal model that allows hypotheses related to brain inulin to be tested. Fundamental research on the role of brain insulin may shed light on the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and eventually open new avenues for prevention and/or treatment.

Imagine a world without Alzheimer disease.