Friday May 25, 2018

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
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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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Reducing Alzheimer’s stigma crucial for prevention research

Almost half expected the person's health insurance would be limited due to data in the medical record (47 percent), a brain imaging result (46 percent) or genetic test result (45 percent)

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A lady suffering from Alzheimer's. Flickr
  • Alzheimer’s is a serious disease
  • To prevent it, it is important to remove the stigma attached to it
  • It was found in a recent survey

Reducing stigma attributed to Alzheimer’s disease is vital for prevention research, a new study suggests, adding that the stigma associated with the disease may be an obstacle for individuals to seek information about their risk of developing it.

The survey focused on what beliefs, attitudes and expectations are most often associated with the disease. “We found that concerns about discrimination and overly harsh judgments about the severity of symptoms were most prevalent,” said co-author of the study, Shana Stites from the University of Pennsylvania. “By understanding what the biggest concerns are about the disease, we can help develop programmes and policies to reduce the stigma about Alzheimer’s disease,” Stites added.

Diabetes drug could now treat Alzheimer's disease
To treat Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to remove stigma attached to it. IANS

For the study, published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, a random sample of 317 adults was asked to react to a fictional description of a person with mild stage Alzheimer’s disease dementia.

The study asked respondents to read a vignette and then complete the survey. Three different assessments were presented for the fictional person’s condition. Respondents were told the person’s condition would worsen, improve or remain unchanged. Over half of the respondents (55 percent) expected the person with mild cognitive impairment or dementia due to Alzheimer’s to be discriminated against by employers and to be excluded from medical decision-making.

Also Read: Beetroot compound may prevent Alzheimer’s

Almost half expected the person’s health insurance would be limited due to data in the medical record (47 percent), a brain imaging result (46 percent) or genetic test result (45 percent). Those numbers increased when the participants were informed that the condition of the person with Alzheimer’s would worsen over time, the researcher said. IANS

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