B-School Innovation Professor Discovers Pathway between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease

–Hyperinsulinemia leads to more than 40% of all Alzheimer’s disease

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paper published by The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
, Professor
, a strategy and innovation expert at the NYU
Stern School of Business
, uncovers a surprising new connection
between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease: hyperinsulinemia, which is
most often caused by prediabetes, early or undiagnosed diabetes, or
obesity, is responsible for almost half of all cases of Alzheimer’s

The American Diabetes Association estimates that roughly 8.1 million
Americans have undiagnosed diabetes and 86 million have prediabetes.

Professor Schilling conducted a large-scale review across disciplines of
hundreds of published articles specific to the pathway between insulin
and Alzheimer’s disease and focused on incongruencies in the literature.
What she discovered, as a result, was a significant and new
understanding of the relationship between these two distinctive diseases.

“What I’ve learned from my innovation research is that specialists can
become trapped in the logic of their field, so new perspectives often
come from outsiders,” said Professor Schilling. “If we can raise
awareness and get more people tested for hyperinsulinemia, especially
those who have been diagnosed with or who are at risk for dementia, it
could significantly lessen the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and
vascular dementia, as well as other diabetes-related health problems.”

The findings have significant implications for both policy and practice,
according to Professor Schilling:

  • One-third of the US population is pre-diabetic yet doesn’t know it,
    but testing exists and should be used.
  • All dementia patients should be immediately tested for glucose
    intolerance problems since intervention can slow or even reverse the
  • The general population should regularly be tested for glucose
    tolerance, preferably with the hemoglobin A1c test, which doesn’t
    require fasting.
  • The FDA should consider requiring food manufacturers to print the
    glycemic index of their products on their labels.

The article, Unraveling
Alzheimer’s: Making Sense of the Relationship between Diabetes and
Alzheimer’s Disease
,” is featured in the April 12, 2016 issue of
the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, JAD 51 (4).

To speak with Professor Schilling, please contact her directly at mschilli@stern.nyu.edu,
212-998-0249, or contact Jessica Neville, jneville@stern.nyu.edu,
416-516-7677 or Carolyn Ritter, critter@stern.nyu.edu,
212-998-0624 in NYU Stern’s Office of Public Affairs.


NYU Stern
Professor Melissa Schilling, 212-998-0249
Jessica Neville, 416-516-7677
Carolyn Ritter, 212-998-0624