Human islet amyloid polypeptide aggregation, the missing link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease?

Dr. Yun Zhang
University of British Columbia
Q: What did we learn?

Dr. Zhang’s research focused on creating a better understanding of why type 2 diabetes patients have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer disease. This research identified the important role of human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) in diabetes-induced dementia. Targeting hIAPP may be a valid approach for preventing and treating dementia in diabetes mellitus.


Type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) aggregates, occurring in ~95% of T2D patients, induce a variety of pathological processes that are contributing factors to AD neuropathology. In current proposal, we attempt to investigate the effect of hIAPP aggregation on the Alzheimer’s development in T2D and the potential mechanism by conducting cell and animal experiments. Additionally, novel transgenic mouse models of diabetic AD will be generated to mimic the natural process of AD development in diabetics.

Imagine a world without Alzheimer disease.