Have you heard of Type 3 diabetes? Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are fairly well-known. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. There are no lifestyle factors that can be changed; there is no cure and it cannot be prevented, but it can be managed, say Diabetes Australia (1). Type 2 diabetes is often referred to as late-onset diabetes. Diabetes Australia refers to it as a condition where the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, or is unable to produce enough insulin (2). There are a number of lifestyle changes that can be made (but that’s another topic altogether!).
Type 3 diabetes is a relatively new term that has been associated with Alzheimer’s Disease (3). Type 3 diabetes occurs when nerve pathways in the brain become unable to respond to insulin, which is essential for basic tasks, including memory and learning. Recent research at the Mayo Clinic has been involved in some studies looking at the link between insulin in the brain and Alzheimer’s Disease (4). More research is needed to determine exact causes and treatment.
- Diabetes Australia, Type 1 Diabetes, viewed 8 September 2020, <https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/type-1-diabetes>
- Diabetes Australia, Type 2 Diabetes, viewed 8 September 2020, <https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/type-2-diabetes>
- De la Monte S M & Wands J R, 2008, ‘Alzeimer’s Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes – Evidence Reviewed’, Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 2 (6): 1101-1113, viewed 8 September 2020 <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769828/>
- De Widt L, 2017, ‘Researchers link Alzheimer’s gene to Type 3 diabetes’, Mayo Clinic, viewed 8 September 2020 <https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/researchers-link-alzheimers-gene-to-type-iii-diabetes/>