Hope rises over cure of Alzheimer’s disease with diabetes drug


Michael Kelly

Date: 04.01.2018

A drug originally created to treat type 2 diabetes could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. This is the findings of a new study published in the journal ‘Brain Research’.

Researchers from China and the United Kingdom (UK) found that the ‘triple receptor’ drug ‘significantly reversed memory loss’ in mice. The medication combines glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose- dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), and glucagon, which are all growth factors.

According to the researchers, the drug enhanced levels of a brain growth factor which protects nerve cell functioning, reduced both chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, among others.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer’s, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time. It is the cause of 60 per cent to 70 per cent of dementia, the most common early symptom of which is difficulty in remembering recent events (shortterm memory loss).

As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self-care, and behavioural issues and as a person’s condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society. According to Professor Christian Holscher, from Lancaster University and co-author of the study: “The novel treatment holds clear promise of being developed into a new treatment for chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. “This is the first time that a triple receptor drug has been used which acts in multiple ways to protect the brain from degeneration.”

Dr. Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society said: “With no new treatments in nearly 15 years, we need to find new ways of tackling Alzheimer’s,” the ‘Science News’ reported.

“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.”

This material was prepared specially for the WORLD HEALTH NEWS project by journalist Michael Kelly.

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