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Tags: Alzheimers | disease | diabetes | drug

Diabetes Drug Could Boost Brain Power in Alzheimer's Disease

Diabetes Drug Could Boost Brain Power in Alzheimer's Disease
(Copyright: DPC)

By    |   Thursday, 09 March 2017 01:27 PM EST

A diabetes drug could be used to restore thinking and memory in people with Alzheimer’s disease, a preliminary study suggests.

There are an estimated 5.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's dementia. One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer's dementia, and the incidence of it grows as people age.

The study used pramlintide, which is a synthetic form of the hormone amylin, which reduces blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. 

Dr. Wendy Qiu, the study’s lead author, previously had used mice to demonstrate that these amylin-type peptides were well-tolerated, and also have potential in both the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s.

In this first human trial she recruited 50 participants, 10 of whom had Alzheimer’s and seven with Mild Cognitive Impairment, a condition that can lead to the disease.

The study results showed that a single injection of the drug safely improved learning and memory function in the patients.

It also reduced concentrations of amyloid proteins in their brains, which form between the nerve cells and lead to brain damage.

Because the drug can infiltrate the body’s brain-blood barrier, it could be used in the development of a blood test for Alzheimer’s, eliminating the need for lumbar punctures.

But because the study is small and included relatively few people with Alzheimer’s disease,  larger trials are needed, Qiu cautions.

The study appears in Journal Translational Research and Clinical Interventions.

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A new study suggests that a diabetes drug may hold the key to fighting Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimers, disease, diabetes, drug
Thursday, 09 March 2017 01:27 PM
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