Alzheimer's: Diabetes of the Brain?

By Dr. Suzanne DeLaMonte Alpert Medical School, Brown University Neuropathologist, Rhode Island Hospital

Posted on | By Dr. Suzanne DeLaMonte

How were these findings reached?

We were working on the idea that insulin resistance in the brain was an important cause of disease and injected another drug into the brain to see what would happen. Instead of getting what we were looking for, we found Alzheimer’s. Very soon after that, I realized that the drug I used was a nitrosamine. A bell went off in my head and suddenly I understood the problem. All of the major diseases related to insulin resistance, which are now epidemic in the United States, could be caused by exposure to low doses of nitrosamines over a period of years.

How can I reduce my risk?

For now, the main message is to stop getting exposed. There are small steps and larger ones. Protect yourself by looking for sodium nitrite on food labels. Avoid processed foods. Eat organically grown foods. Push policies to return farming back to local environments to gain control over how food is produced and eliminate requirements for toxic preservatives. Educate children and provide only healthful food choices. Learn to cook and teach cooking in public schools. Pack a healthful lunch the night before for easy grab-and-go in the morning.

Article written by Dr. Suzanne DeLaMonte
Alpert Medical School, Brown UniversityNeuropathologist, Rhode Island Hospital