Diabetes drug shows promise in treating Alzheimer's

Researchers have discovered an unintended benefit to a drug that was originally developed to treat diabetes. The medication has been found to have potential use as a treatment for Alzheimer's. The scientists say that the drug "significantly reversed memory loss" in mice through a triple method of action.

Researchers are working hard on a cure and treatment or Alzheimer's disease as the condition is the most common cause of dementia in people afflicted are expected to total 2 million in the UK alone by 2051. The drug acts in multiple ways to protect the brain from degradation.

It combines GLP-1, GIP, and Glucagon, all growth factors. Scientists have shown that problems with growth factor signaling have shown to impair the brain in Alzheimer's patients. The study has only been conducted in mice so far and used APP/PS2 mice, these are transgenic mice that have human mutated genes that cause Alzheimer's.

The researchers treated the mice and used a maze test to test learning and memory formation, and both were found to be much improved by the drug. The team says the drug reduced the amount of amyloid plaques in the brain that are linked with the disease.

The drug also reduced chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, slowed the rate of nerve cell loss, and enhanced levels of brain growth factor protecting nerve cell functioning. The scientists note that Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer's and has been implicated in the progression of the disease.

SOURCE: Eurekalert