Some metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are risk factors for the development of cognitive deficits and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Epidemiological studies suggest that in people with T2DM, the risk of developing dementia is 2.5 times higher than that in the non-diabetic population. The signaling pathways that underlie the increased risk and facilitate cognitive deficits are not fully understood. In fact, the cause of memory deficits in AD is not fully elucidated. The dentate gyrus of the hippocampus plays an important role in memory formation. Hippocampal neurogenesis is the generation of new neurons and glia in the adult brain throughout life. New neurons incorporate in the granular cell layer of the dentate gyrus and play a role in learning and memory and hippocampal plasticity. A large body of studies suggests that hippocampal neurogenesis is impaired in mouse models of AD and T2DM. Recent evidence shows that hippocampal neurogenesis is also impaired in human patients exhibiting mild cognitive impairment or AD. This review discusses the role of hippocampal neurogenesis in the development of cognitive deficits and AD, and considers inflammatory and endothelial signaling pathways in T2DM that may compromise hippocampal neurogenesis and cognitive function, leading to AD.