July 17, 2024

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Switchable drug and spinal fluid trials may cure Alzheimer’s disease

Switchable drug and spinal fluid trials may cure Alzheimer’s disease


New research shows switchable drug and spinal fluid trials may cure Alzheimer’s disease

Developing new treatments for diseases can be a tedious and frustrating process for scientists. Often, newly developed drugs don’t work as expected, leading to a dead end because they don’t have the desired effect.

But other times, drugs developed for one purpose are even more effective in treating a completely different disease.


Alzheimer disease: Acidify the intracellular environment to remove amyloid



In the past, this has happened with drugs like prednisone, which was originally prescribed to treat inflammatory conditions but actually helps treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

These are called convertible drugs. Another example came in 2017, when researchers realized that a drug to treat type 2 diabetes might benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease.


At the time, a new class of drugs, originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes, showed dramatic benefits in mice with Alzheimer’s.

Classified as “triple agonists” (because they work in three ways), the drugs were tested in mice developed to express genes linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

The animals, who had already shown many of the symptoms associated with the disease — including memory loss and learning difficulties — showed dramatic improvements in brain function following the treatment.


Professor Christian Holscher, lead researcher of the study, said: “This treatment clearly holds promise for development as a new treatment for chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.” The study was published in Brain Research.


According to the study, the triple-action treatment is thought to fight Alzheimer’s by protecting nerve cells, reducing amyloid plaques in the brain (linked to Alzheimer’s disease), and reducing inflammation while slowing the degeneration of nerve cells sick. The treated mice showed marked improvements in learning and memory formation.


The discovery of a potential new therapy to treat a devastating disease like Alzheimer’s is good news, but the fact that the drug was originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes isn’t just a coincidence.

Type 2 diabetes has been linked to Alzheimer’s in the past, and the two often go hand in hand in older adults. “Insulin desensitization has also been observed in Alzheimer’s disease brains,” the researchers explained in a press release. “This desensitization may play a role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases because insulin is a a growth factor with neuroprotective properties.”


Building on a 2017 study in mice, UK researchers are starting human trials of a drug called liraglutide in 2021. It is currently licensed for diabetes, so it is safer to use it in human clinical trials.

This time the drugs have to go through less of the drug development process, as they already did when they were developed for type 2 diabetes.

Trials of liraglutide in the UK have not shown substantial evidence that liraglutide has the potential to cure Alzheimer’s disease, but has the potential to slow the effects.


Another study involving diabetes drugs was conducted in South Korea last year. Clinical trials of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors have shown that they can help slow cognitive decline in people with dementia.

Medications like Januvia, Onglyza, Tradjenta, and Nesina are used to lower blood sugar levels.

They are being tested for people with dementia because lower blood sugar levels lead to less plaque buildup in the brain, a side effect of dementia.


“Patients with diabetes have been shown to have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, possibly due to high blood sugar levels, which are linked to the brain’s Amyloid beta buildup in β-amyloid. Our study not only showed that people who took dipeptidase-4 inhibitors to lower blood sugar levels had less amyloid overall in their brains, but also showed that Alzheimer’s Amyloid levels are lower in areas of Meritor’s disease.”


Now, a new study in mice shows that using spinal fluid from young animals and young mice can help improve memory in aging mice, a promising result.

Back in 2014, Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray of Stanford University pointed out that injecting older animals with blood from younger animals could reverse some of the effects of aging.

He helped oversee Dr. Tal Iram’s research, which hypothesized that injecting spinal fluid from young mice into older mice could help address memory decline.

Reports published last week showed that Iram found that a week-long infusion of cerebrospinal fluid in young mice helped the memory of older mice.


The study notes that this would be difficult to translate into an option for human trials, but not impossible. Every year, as more research is conducted, steps are taken to try and fight dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.





Switchable drug and spinal fluid trials may cure Alzheimer’s disease

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