Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

Sugar and Alzheimer's disease: a bittersweet truth

Reductions in brain glucose metabolism have long been associated with Alzheimer's disease. A study now demonstrates that the endothelial glucose transporter GLUT1 is vital for maintaining brain energy metabolism and vascular clearance of amyloid-β.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Mechanisms of brain dysfunction and damage caused by GLUT1 deficiency.


  1. Hoyer, S., Oesterreich, K. & Wagner, O. J. Neurol. 235, 143–148 (1988).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Harik, S.I., Kalaria, R.N., Andersson, L., Lundahl, P. & Perry, G. J. Neurosci. 10, 3862–3872 (1990).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Mamelak, M. J. Alzheimers Dis. 31, 459–474 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Winkler, E.A. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 18, 521–530 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Nordberg, A., Rinne, J.O., Kadir, A. & Långström, B. Nat. Rev. Neurol. 6, 78–87 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Jagust, W.J. et al. J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab. 11, 323–330 (1991).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Kalaria, R.N. & Harik, S. J. Neurochem. 53, 1083–1088 (1989).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Mooradian, A.D., Chung, H.C. & Shah, G.N. Neurobiol. Aging 18, 469–474 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Jack, C.R. et al. Lancet Neurol. 12, 207–216 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Bateman, R.J. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 367, 795–804 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. de le Monte, S.M. & Tong, M. Biochem. Pharmacol. 88, 548–559 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Krikorian, R. et al. Neurobiol. Aging 33, 425.e19–425.e27 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Reger, M.A. et al. Neurobiol. Aging 25, 311–314 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Pearson, T.S., Akman, C., Hinton, V.J., Engelstad, K. & De Vivo, D.C. Curr. Neurol. Neurosci. Rep. 13, 342 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Liu, Y., Liu, F., Iqbal, K., Grundke-Iqbal, I. & Gong, C.-X. FEBS Lett. 582, 359–364 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Costantino Iadecola.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Iadecola, C. Sugar and Alzheimer's disease: a bittersweet truth. Nat Neurosci 18, 477–478 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing