Thursday June 20, 2019

Could diabetes drug cure Alzheimer’s disease?

The drug, originally created to treat type 2 diabetes, "significantly reversed memory loss" in mice

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Diabetes drug can help people with alzheimer's disease and other kind of dementia
Diabetes drug can help people with alzheimer's disease and other kind of dementia :Pixabay

Alzheimer’s disease can be treated by a drug which was developed for diabetes. The drug uses a triple method of action.

Memory reversing drug

  • The drug, originally created to treat type 2 diabetes, “significantly reversed memory loss” in mice.
  • In a maze test, learning and memory formation were much improved by the drug.
  • It also enhanced the levels of a brain growth factor which protects nerve cell functioning.
  • It reduced the amount of amyloid plaques in the brain linked with Alzheimer’s, chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • The drug also slowed down the rate of nerve cell loss.
A lady with Alzheimer's :Pixabay
A lady with Alzheimer’s :Pixabay

According to lead researcher Professor Christian Holscher of Lancaster University, the treatment “holds clear promise of being developed into a new treatment for chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease”.

Current and coming scenario

The disease is the most common cause of dementia. As per Alzheimer’s Society — a care and research charity for people with dementia and their carers — the numbers are expected to rise to two million people in Britain by 2051.

“With no new treatments in nearly 15 years, we need to find new ways of tackling Alzheimer’s,” Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society, was quoted as saying.

“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,” Brown added. (IANS)

Next Story

Study: Hypertension Pill Help Patients Combat Alzheimer Disease Without Affecting Brain

Nilvadipine is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure (HBP)

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alzheimer, hypertension drugs
"Even though no medical treatment is without risk, getting treatment for high blood pressure could be important to maintain brain health in patients with Alzheimer's disease," Claassen said. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a drug, called nilvadipine that is consumed as a pill to control hypertension, could also help patients combat Alzheimer’s disease without affecting other parts of the brain. Nilvadipine is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure (HBP).

According to the study published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, these findings indicate that the known decrease in cerebral blood flow in patients with Alzheimer’s can be reversed in some regions.

“This high blood pressure treatment holds promise as it doesn’t appear to decrease blood flow to the brain, which could cause more harm than benefit,” said the study lead author Jurgen Claassen, Associate Professor at the Radboud University in the Netherlands.

hypertension pill, alzheimer
Nilvadipine is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure (HBP). Pixabay

“Even though no medical treatment is without risk, getting treatment for high blood pressure could be important to maintain brain health in patients with Alzheimer’s disease,” Claassen said.

For the study, researchers sought to discover whether nilvadipine could help treat Alzheimer’s disease by comparing the use of nilvadipine and a placebo among people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers randomly assigned 44 participants to receive either nilvadipine or a placebo for six months. They measured blood flow to specific regions of the brain using a unique magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique.

hypertension pill, alzheimer
Blood flow to other regions of the brain was unchanged in both groups. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Study: Personal Care Products Lead to Life Threatening Situations in Young Children

Results showed that blood flow to the hippocampus, the brain’s memory and learning centre, increased by 20 per cent among the nilvadipine group compared to the placebo group. Blood flow to other regions of the brain was unchanged in both groups.

However, the sample sizes were too small and follow-up time too short to reliably study the effects of this cerebral blood flow increase on structural brain measures and cognitive measures, the researchers noted. (IANS)