Mental health – is it an investment theme?
When you think about health, mental health is not the first subject that pops into mind. However, there is no health and well-being without mental health. That is why promoting mental health and well-being belongs to the targets set by the United Nations to achieve SDG3. Alzheimer’s affects a person’s increasing deterioration of mental abilities. Alongside other dementias, it belongs to the top 10 causes of death worldwide. As such, preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease is one of the investment themes we look at when investing in SDG3.
At radicant, we want to help invest in a way that contributes to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. That is why we are happy to give you a flavour of the investment themes we consider.
Alzheimer or type 3 diabetes?
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects memory, thinking and behaviour. It is a type of dementia that usually starts slowly and progressively worsens, destroying brain cells. Memory loss and confusion are the main symptoms. There is currently no cure, but medication may improve symptoms. Diagnostics usually happen when the diseases already started to develop and the first symptoms appeared, prevention remains key to avoiding Alzheimer. A healthy lifestyle, including exercise, a Mediterranean diet and enough sleep, help eliminate Alzheimer’s disease.
Indeed, studies show that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is 65% higher among people with diabetes than among others. People with diabetes suffer because of a dysfunction of insulin in their bodies. Insulin contributes to the right absorption of glucose (sugar) so that glucose can be used by our body as a source of energy. Insulin absorbs a specific amount of glucose (sugar) which is then used by our body as a source of energy.
There are several types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes glucose (sugar) to build to high levels in the bloodstream because insulin cells are attacked by the body’s immune system and cannot play their role.
- Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin becomes less sensitive to glucose and therefore is less efficient at removing it from the bloodstream.
A similar problem of insulin resistance occurs in Alzheimer’s disease but rather than affecting the entire body, it affects the brain, where insulin is stocked instead of being used as a facilitator of glucose absorption.
Such findings help to identify new ways to heal and treat the disease. For us as investors, they turn into investment opportunities.
How can I invest?
Developing new drugs is needed but is a very risky, costly process and time consuming. We consider various options in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Investing in the treatment of diseases is a way to help achieve SDG3 and improve mental health conditions for millions of people.
Since there is a high correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and insulin resistance, another investment option to reduce the prevalence rate of this disease could be to promote low-sugar food. This is obviously an extrapolation. But as already mentioned, mental health is an essential component of health and therefore well-being. So, promoting and investing in low-sugar food is a way of investing in the protection of mental health.
What can you implement directly today?
Start investing with us and eventually reduce your own sugar intake!
Thuy Trang Nguyen, Qui Thanh Hoai Ta, Thi Kim Oanh Nguyen, Thi Thuy Dung Nguyen, and Vo Van Giau, Type 3 Diabetes and Its Role Implications in Alzheimer’s Disease, 2020 May