A new promising animal research suggested a drug originally developed to treat diabetes significantly reverses memory loss and brain degeneration in mice with a rodent version of Alzheimer’s disease. If the same is proven true in humans, the drug could one day be used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related illnesses.
The drug is called a triple receptor drug and according to the study, combines GLP-1, GIP and Glucagon, three biological molecules known as as “growth factors.” Growth factors are simply natural substances, usually a hormone or steroid, that help to induce growth. The growth factors in this drug specifically affected growth in the animals’ brains, and this is significant as the brains of Alzheimer’s patients are shown to display growth impairment, a statement on the study reported. This impairment causes brain nerve cells to slowly lose function, eventually leading to some of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
However, in the mice in the study, the diabetes drug prevented and even reversed this brain growth impairment.
The link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s is not as strange as you may think. Insulin, the hormone which diabetes patients have trouble regulating, is actually a type of growth factor. This is why a triple receptor drug was originally designed to treat diabetes. In addition, diabetes patients are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association reported.