Bhumsoo Kim and Eva L Feldman
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors that includes obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Accumulating evidence implies that MetS contributes to the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD); however, the factors connecting this association have not been determined. Insulin resistance (IR) is at the core of MetS and likely represent the key link between MetS and AD. In the central nervous system, insulin plays key roles in learning and memory, and AD patients exhibit impaired insulin signaling that is similar to that observed in MetS. As we face an alarming increase in obesity and T2D in all age groups, understanding the relationship between MetS and AD is vital for the identification of potential therapeutic targets. Recently, several diabetes therapies that enhance insulin signaling are being tested for a potential therapeutic benefit in AD and dementia. In this review, we will discuss MetS as a risk factor for AD, focusing on IR and the recent progress and future directions of insulin-based therapies.