Anti-diabetes Drug May Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Anti-diabetes Drug May Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

A new study has found that people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and taking anti-diabetes drugs exhibit lesser molecular markers of their neurological conditions. These findings are extremely important can provide information regarding Alzheimer’s disease in the future.

A new research, led by a professor of psychiatry named Vahram Haroutunian in the New York city investigated the brain tissue of the people who were suffering from diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease together.

These findings suggest that the anti-diabetes drugs might be protecting their brain against Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Haroutunian along with his colleagues went to explain about the issue more.

A mounting heap of evidence has been pointing to a suspected link between the risk of cognitive impairment, type 2 diabetes, and dementia.

Additional studies have further revealed a link between the insulin receptor pathway present in the brain as well as the accumulation of the brain pathologies associated with Alzheimer’s.

Previous studies conducted by the same professor and colleagues had also found some other interesting points. For example, it was proven that the brains of the people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease who had undergone a treatment for diabetes, for example, anti-diabetes drug or insulin, suffered from reduced brain pathologies.

So, in this study, the researchers aimed to develop an understanding of how this happens at a molecular level. They also aimed to identify different molecular pathways that were responsible for this association between Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.

Specifically speaking, the researcher examined the molecular pathways occurring in the brain tissue as well as the endothelial cells that lined the inside of the different blood vessels.

The findings are now present in the journal names PLOS One.

The Molecular Markers of Alzheimer’s Cut in Half

The researchers designed a technique that permitted them to isolate capillaries from the brain tissue of 34 different people. These people were suffering from both type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s and had undergone a treatment for both of these conditions.

The scientists compare the brain tissues of these people with those who suffered from Alzheimer’s but had no medical history of diabetes. Comparisons were also made with the brain tissue derived from people who suffered from neither of these conditions.

Later, the scientist analyzed the brain tissue and the blood vessels separately. They examined the molecular changes related to Alzheimer’s disease in the brain capillary cells or the insulin signalling.

The study concluded that half of the markers were low in the participants who suffered from both Alzheimer’s as well as diabetes.

Moreover, the vast majority of the changes were in the RNA markers that are usually present in Alzheimer’s disease. These included irregularities in gene expression.

However, these changes were not evident in the group who took anti-diabetic drugs.

The results of this study are significant because they provide the people with new insights regarding the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.


Most of the current treatments addressing Alzheimer’s disease usually target amyloid plaques and have not made any progress in effectively treating the ailment.

Insulin and other diabetes medications like metformin are approved by the FDA and are being safely administered to millions of people. These medicines also seem to have a positive impact on the people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

This research has opened opportunities for the scientists to conduct more trials on people who are using similar medicines or drugs that have same effects on the biological pathways and cell types of the brain that have been identified in this study.


Nancy Walker

Nancy holds a Medicine degree and a Masters of Science MS in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) from Tufts University. She worked as a lecturer for three years before she turned towards medical writing. Her area of interest are infectious diseases; causes, mechanism, diagnosis, treatments and prevention strategies. Most of her writings ensure an easy understanding of uncommon diseases.

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!