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The Action of Polyphenols in Diabetes Mellitus and Alzheimer's Disease: A Common Agent for Overlapping Pathologies

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Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are two prevalent diseases in modern societies, which are caused mainly by current lifestyle, aging and genetic alterations. It has already been demonstrated that these two diseases are associated, since individuals suffering from DM are prone to develop AD. Conversely, it is also known that individuals with AD are more susceptible to DM, namely type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Therefore, these two pathologies, although completely different in terms of symptomatology, end up sharing several mechanisms at the molecular level, with the most obvious being the increase of oxidative stress and inflammation.

Polyphenols are natural compounds widely spread in fruits and vegetables whose dietary intake has been considered inversely proportional to the incidence of DM and AD. So, it is believed that this group of phytochemicals may have preventive and therapeutic potential, not only by reducing the risk and delaying the development of these pathologies, but also by improving brain’s metabolic profile and cognitive function.

The aim of this review is to understand the extent to which DM and AD are related pathologies, the degree of similarity and the relationship between them, to detail the molecular mechanisms by which polyphenols may exert a protective effect, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and highlight possible advantages of their use as common preventive and therapeutic alternatives.
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Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Polyphenols; antidiabetic therapy; diabetes mellitus; diabetes mellitus and alzheimer's disease link; neuroprotection

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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  • Current Neuropharmacology aims to provide current, timely and comprehensive reviews of all areas of neuropharmacology and related matters of neuroscience. The journal publishes reviews written by experts and leaders in the fields of molecular, cellular, and systems/behavioural aspects of neuropharmacology and neuroscience. The journal serves as a comprehensive, multidisciplinary expert forum for neuropharmacologists and neuroscientists.
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