Scientists have discovered a link between diabetes drugs and Alzheimer’s cure.
A new study suggests, a commonly prescribed diabetes drug can reverse memory loss and the build-up of plaques in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
The study, led by Professor Christian Holscher at Lancaster University, found that the drug liraglutide commonly used by diabetics, may be able to reverse some of the damages caused by Alzheimer’s. They are even effective in the later stages of the condition. If successful in clinical trials this will be the first new dementia treatment in a decade.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. The condition is characterised by the slow death of brain cells. It is progressive, ultimately terminal and there is yet no cure.
The researchers carried study on mice with late-stage Alzheimer’s. They were given the diabetic drug. The scientists found that they performed significantly better on an object recognition test and their brains showed a 30 percent reduction in the build-up of toxic plaques.
Most of the drugs available for dementia are generally effective in early stages. But these drugs were found effective even in later stage of the disease.
Liraglutide is a member of a class of drugs known as a GLP-1 analogue. The drug is used to stimulate insulin production in diabetes, but research shows it can also pass through the blood brain barrier and have a protective effect on brain cells.
“This exciting study suggests that one of these drugs can reverse the biological causes of Alzheimer’s even in the late stages and demonstrates we’re on the right track,” said Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society.
The study was published in the journal Neuropharmacology.