IGF-1 Deficiency Possible Contributor to Alzheimer’s in Men

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Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reports that low levels of Insulin Like Growth Factor linked to Alzheimer’s in men but not in women.

“Our results justify a longitudinal study to evaluate whether circulating IGF-1/IGFBP-3 are predictive of cognitive decline according to gender.”

IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor) is a hormone produced in the body that is structured very similarly to insulin. It serves to prevent cell death and also triggers new cell growth. When Growth hormone (GH) is produced in the body it triggers the liver into producing IGF-1 which is thought to be the primary growth factor during youth and adolescence.

In the study 694 elderly patients had their IGF-1 levels measured; of that group 481 complained of memory issues and were subsequently diagnosed with cognitive issues or Alzheimer’s. The researchers discovered there was a direct correlation between IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 serum levels and the men who were diagnosed. Interestingly the women in the study showed no correlation between memory issues and IGF-1 levels.

Emmanuelle Duron, MD, PhD led the study and states “Our cross-sectional association does not mean a causal relationship,” notes Duron. “Our results justify a longitudinal study to evaluate whether circulating IGF-1/IGFBP-3 are predictive of cognitive decline according to gender.”

What this may mean in the future is that there may be potential usefulness or treatment with IGF-1 and individuals diagnosed with cognitive issue such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease affects one in eight older Americans and it is estimated that over 5 million people in the US alone have the disease. It is in the top 10 causes of death and the only one that cannot be prevented or slowed with treatment. Over $200 billion per year are spent treating patients of Alzheimer’s in the United States.

If you are interested in reading more about the IGF-1 research please visit this link- http://www.endo-society.org/media/press/2012/Alzheimers-Disease-in-Men-Linked-to-Low-Levels-of-Hormone-IGF1.cfm

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