A drug developed for diabetes could be used to treat Alzheimer’s after scientists found that it ‘significantly reversed memory loss’ according to a new report published in the journal Brain Research.
Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s and has been implicated in the progression of the disease.
The research could bring about substantial improvements in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease through the use of a drug originally created to treat another condition.
The study’s lad researcher, Professor Christian Holscher of Lancaster University, said 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, although so far the beneficial effects have only been observed in mice.
During the study mice that express human mutated genes that cause Alzheimer’s were treated.
In a maze test, learning and memory formation were much improved by the drug which was also found to enhance levels of a brain growth factor which protects nerve cell functioning and reduce the amount of amyloid plaques in the brain linked with Alzheimer’s.
Professor Holscher said: ‘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 neuroprotective effects in several studies.’
‘Clinical studies with an older version of this drug type already showed very promising results in people with Alzheimer’s disease or with mood disorders. Here we show that a novel triple receptor drug shows promise as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s 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.’