Remarkably, scientists have discovered a drug for type 2 diabetes that “significantly reverses memory loss” in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. The drug protects brain cells by utilizing a three-pronged approach, and research results are so promising that it has already been approved for testing on human patients. According to senior author Christian Hölscher of Lancaster University in the U.K., the drug “holds clear promise of being developed into a new treatment for chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.”
Doug Brown from the U.K. Alzheimer’s Society argues that, “It’s imperative that we explore whether drugs developed to treat other conditions can benefit people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. This approach to research could make it much quicker to get promising new drugs to the people who need them.” The connection between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s has been known for some time, and it is now clear that this combination makes the disease progress rapidly.
This may be a result of insulin not being delivered to cells, since insulin resistance has been observed in Alzheimer’s patients before. This is a big part of the reason it was suspected that drugs which treat type 2 diabetes could also be effective regarding Alzheimer’s symptoms. In the past, success in humans with a drug called liraglutide has been observed. Yet, this “triple receptor agonist” better protects the brain from degeneration by simultaneously activating GIP-1, GIP, and glucagon receptors. This indicated that the drug might aid in re-stimulating damaged brain cells and guarding against further damage.
In the case of the mice, a maze was utilized to measure learning and memory formation. The researchers found that the drug “significantly reversed the memory deficit,” enhanced levels of brain growth, protected nerve cell functioning, reduced toxic amyloid plaques in the brain, decreased chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, and slowed nerve cell loss. As per Hölscher, “These very promising outcomes demonstrate the efficacy of these novel multiple receptor drugs that originally were developed to treat type 2 diabetes but have shown consistent neuro- protective effects in several studies. Further dose-response tests and direct comparisons with other drugs have to be conducted in order to evaluate if this new [drug] is superior to previous ones.”
Over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and it is estimated that by 2050 approximately 16 million people could have the disease. Please scrutinize more information and insights in Brain Research for yourself, and spread it as far and as wide as possible. Enhanced awareness always does more good than is originally thought or imagined.
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