Recent evidence suggests that the molecular defects associated with the development of diabetes also contribute to an increased risk of all types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and Pick's disease. Indeed, the presence of type 11 diabetes mellitus results in a two to three fold higher risk of developing dementia [Fontbonne et A., 2001. Changes in cognitive abilities over a 4-year period are unfavourably affected in elderly diabetic subjects: results of the Epidemiology of Vascular Aging Study. Diabetes Care 24, 366-370; Gregg et al., 2000. Is diabetes associated with cognitive impairment and cognitive decline among older women? Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group. Archives of Internal Medicine 160, 174-180; Peila et al., 2002. Type 2 diabetes, APOE gene, and the risk for dementia and related pathologies: The Honolulu-Asia Aging Study. Diabetes 51, 1256-1262]. There are currently 250 million people worldwide (>2 million in the UK) diagnosed with diabetes, and this number is predicted to double within the next 20 years, therefore the associated risk translates into a potential explosion in the appearance of dementia in the population. This review primarily focuses on the proposed molecular links between insulin action, Diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, while discussing the potential for therapeutic intervention to alleviate these disorders. In particular, we will review the regulation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) and its neuronal substrates. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.