17 September 2013

Antidiabetic drug can cure Alzheimer's disease

The antidiabetic drug liraglutide partially restores brain damage caused by Alzheimer's disease even in the later stages of the disease. Researchers from Lancaster University, working under the guidance of Professor Christian Holscher, came to such conclusions based on the results obtained during experiments on a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Liraglutide belongs to a class of drugs known as analogues of glucagon-like peptide-1. The drug is prescribed to stimulate insulin production in diabetes mellitus, however, as the study showed, it is able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and has a protective effect against brain neurons.

As part of the work, mice aged 14 months suffering from the late stages of the mouse analogue of Alzheimer's disease were injected with liraglutide for 2 months. During the experiment period, the animals showed a significant improvement in results when passing object recognition tests. Analysis of the state of their brain tissue at the end of the experiment showed a decrease in the number of beta-amyloid aggregates by 30%, as well as a decrease in the severity of other biomarkers of the disease: loss of synapses, decreased synaptic activity and chronic inflammation.

According to the researchers, liraglutide activates receptors localized on the surface of neurons that trigger a certain signaling cascade. The result of this is to increase the efficiency of repairing damaged neurons, normalize the energy metabolism of cells and maintain the functioning of synapses. The resulting suppression of oxidative stress promotes the growth of new and replacement of dead neurons.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia affecting elderly people. The disease proceeds as a progressive lesion and death of brain cells and currently has no effective treatment methods.

The study of the possibility of using liraglutide as a remedy for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, as well as a clinical study, the involvement of patients to participate in which will begin in a few weeks, are carried out within the framework of the program to find funds for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease among existing medicines, sponsored by the Alzheimer's Society.

According to the head of the research and development department of the community, Dr. Doug Brown, the development of completely new drugs can take 20 years and require hundreds of millions of pounds. At the same time, there are about 800,000 Alzheimer's patients in the UK alone, which forces community members to do everything possible to speed up this process.

The article by Paula L. McClean, Christian Holscher Liraglutide can reverse memory impairment, synaptic loss and reduce plaque load in aged APP/PS1 mice, a model of Alzheimer's disease is published in the journal Neuropharmacology.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of Alzheimer's Society:
Diabetes drug may reverse Alzheimer's and enters major clinical trial.


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