Wednesday November 13, 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)

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Walking, A Key Tool Identify The Specific Type of Dementia

Researchers have found that walking may be a key clinical tool in helping doctors accurately identify the specific type of dementia

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health, dementia, walking, Alzheimer
The suffering that comes as a consequence of this disease is enormous. Pixabay

Researchers have found that walking may be a key clinical tool in helping doctors accurately identify the specific type of dementia a patient has.

Published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, the research have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease or Lewy body dementia have unique walking patterns that signal subtle differences between the two conditions.

The study also shows that people with Lewy body dementia change their walking steps more – varying step time and length – and are asymmetric when they move, in comparison to those with Alzheimer’s disease.

“The results from this study are exciting as they suggest that walking could be a useful tool to add to the diagnostic toolbox for dementia,” said study lead author Riona McArdle from the Newcastle University in the UK.

“It is a key development as a more accurate diagnosis means that we know that people are getting the right treatment, care and management for the dementia they have,” she added.

For the study, researchers analysed the walk of 110 people, including 29 older adults whose cognition was intact, 36 with Alzheimer’s disease and 45 with Lewy body dementia.

health, dementia, walking, Alzheimer
Dementia is a rapidly growing public health problem throughout the world. VOA

Participants moved along a walkway – a mat with thousands of sensors inside – which captured their footsteps as they walked across it at their normal speed and this revealed their walking patterns.

People with Lewy body dementia had a unique walking pattern in that they changed how long it took to take a step or the length of their steps more frequently than someone with Alzheimer’s disease, whose walking patterns rarely changed.

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When a person has Lewy body dementia, their steps are more irregular and this is associated with increased falls risk.

Their walking is more asymmetric in step time and stride length, meaning their left and right footsteps look different to each other.

The study found that analysing both step length variability and step time asymmetry could accurately identify 60 per cent of all dementia subtypes – which has never been shown before. (IANS)