Diabetes Drug May Also Treat Alzheimer's Disease

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease

Treatment of high blood sugar may have a scientific connection to memory loss that could, one day, benefit millions of people with Alzheimer's Disease, which affects up to 4.5 million older Americans, bringing with it impaired thinking and memory.

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New research at the University of Virginia Health System and Case Western Reserve University shows that a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat type 2 diabetes may hold promise in treating Alzheimer's as well, without serious side effects. "We believe that the drug may reduce the body's inflammatory reaction to one of the toxic components that builds up in Alzheimer's, called amyloid plaque," said Dr. David Geldmacher, an associate professor of neurology at UVa.

The drug, called pioglitazone HCl, was tested in a placebo-controlled trial involving 25 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's. The study assessed the safety of the drug and, although the treatment appeared to reduce Alzheimer's progression, the study was too small for investigators to be sure of the effects on memory and everyday abilities.

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