Study: Diabetes drug ‘significantly reverses memory loss’ in mice with Alzheimer’s

Medicine initially created for Type 2 diabetes may actually be better suited for another disease: Alzheimer's. That's what scientists have discovered, according to a new report.

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Researchers from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom recently conducted a study, published in the journal Brain Research, to determine how effectively a diabetes drug could treat memory loss.

"With no new treatments in nearly 15 years, we need to find new ways of tackling Alzheimer's. It's imperative that we explore whether drugs developed to treat other conditions can benefit people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia," Doug Brown, director of research and development at Alzheimer's Society, said in a statement.

For their research, they examined aged mice with the same genes associated with Alzheimer's in humans and gave them a diabetes drug known as the triple receptor. They then conducted a maze test for the animals to measure their memory. 

After analyzing the results, they found the mice had improved memories and learning abilities. They also noticed reduced amounts of plaque buildup in the brain, which is linked with Alzheimer’s.

Furthermore, the rodents had lower levels of inflammation in the brain, a slowed down rate of nerve cell loss and more protection of the nerve cells.

"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," lead researcher Christian Holscher said in the release.

Researchers now want to continue their investigations and hope to yield the same results with humans and other drugs.

"Here we show that a novel triple receptor drug shows promise as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's," Holscher added, "but further dose-response tests and direct comparisons with other drugs have to be conducted in order to evaluate if this new drugs is superior to previous ones."

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