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Similar disease mechanisms found in both diabetes and Alzheimer's disease

April 20, 1994

NIA Press Office | 301-496-1752 | nianews3@mail.nih.gov

Alzheimer's disease and adult-onset diabetes, two of the most prevalent diseases of the aging population, may share a common disease mechanism, namely amyloid fibril formation, according to a new finding by National Institute on Aging (NIA) grantee, Dr. Bruce A. Yankner, and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School and The Children's Hospital in Boston, MA.

According to Dr. Yankner, "This study suggests that there is a similar cause of cell death in the brain and the pancreas and that diabetes and Alzheimer's may share similar disease mechanisms." The research appears in the April 21, 1994 issue of Nature.

"The discovery of a possible similar disease pathway for very distinct organ systems opens a new window of opportunity into finding a biological mechanism underlying these two very debilitating diseases," says Dr. Zaven Khachaturian, head of the Office of Alzheimer's Disease Research at the NIA.

NIA scientists are available to explain these latest findings and give a broad perspective on the research.

The National Institute on Aging is the major federal funding agency of Alzheimer's disease research and other age-associated diseases. Please call (301)496-1752 for further information and to arrange interviews.

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