Posted on Aug 05, 2018, 6 p.m.
Non-diabetic Parkinson’s disease patients could be insulin resistant despite having normal blood sugar, as published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.
Insulin resistance is suggested to be common via findings, going undetected among Parkinson’s patients, especially among those who are overweight. Glucose intolerance is a potential risk factor for Parkinson’s disease with debate of insulin resistance as pathological driver of neurodegeneration. The link appears to be insulin resistance which is potentially reversible and predisposes individuals to type 2 diabetes and is associated with neurodegeneration, with the prevalence of resistance unknown in Parkinson’s Disease.
154 Parkinson’s disease patients classed as non-diabetic were tested for fasting blood sugar and insulin in order to assess prevalence of insulin resistance and correlate resistance with other metabolic indicators, as well as motor and nonmotor symptoms of PD, and quality of life. Using the HOMA index it was determined how many patients tested had decreased response to insulin, other measurements such as height, weight, movement, and cognitive performance were also measured and recorded.
58.4% were shown to have undiagnosed insulin resistance despite having normal glucose and in most cases normal hemoglobin A1c. Collected data confirmed other studies showing that insulin resistance is more than doubled in obese individuals, in addition 41% of lean PD patients were found to also have insulin resistance. Researchers were not able to find any correlation between insulin resistance and cognitive decline.
Impacts of this study are of relevance as being overweight and obesity is a major global public health challenge and it appears as if insulin resistance is linked to body weight, findings could lead to increased screening to detect and correct the condition. Identifying insulin resistance may allow for those PD patients to be treated with medications targeted to reverse the condition.
There is ongoing research into use of diabetic medications for Parkinson’s disease such as GLP-1 agonists like liraglutide and exenatide. Data has been provided showing how common insulin resistance is in nondiabetic PD patients, this public health challenge of metabolic dysfunction with multiple implication from diabetes to neurodegenerative disorders can now begin to be addressed.
Materials provided by IOS Press.
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Elliot Hogg, Kishore Athreya, Christina Basile, Echo E. Tan, Jan Kaminski, Michele Tagliati. High Prevalence of Undiagnosed Insulin Resistance in Non-Diabetic Subjects with Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Parkinson's Disease, 2018; 8 (2): 259 DOI: 10.3233/JPD-181305