Can diabetes drugs reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s?

Latest articles

Peptide therapeutics company targets age-related disease

Gray Matter working with Insilico Medicine to identify peptide targets and accelerate development timeline for age-related disease therapies. Earlier this month, we brought you the...

Buck researchers provide a framework to study precision nutrigeroscience

One size doesn't fit all – a new research sub-specialty deals with the fact that health benefits from many forms of dietary restriction vary...

Accelerating antiaging research by hacking longevity

Bringing together aging researchers, developers and entrepreneurs, the Longevity Hackathon aims to build new tools, raise awareness and attract talent to the field. Kicking off...

X marks the spot for meaningful information on aging and cognition

Understanding chromosomal differences between men and women could be the X Factor when it comes to tackling cognitive decline. A new paper published in Jama...

Most read

Tree of Longevity – understanding how supplements work

Pathways? Hallmarks? Biomarkers? Understanding the longevity supplements lingo can help you make better choices for your healthspan. Longevity supplements differ from other 'generic supplements' as...

An antiaging supplement that also reduces appetite?

One for the AGEs: Juvify signs IP licensing deal with Buck Institute for GLYLO antiaging supplement that aims to reduce glycation. A researcher at the...

Berberine could be longevity’s “best-kept secret”

From tackling senescence to lowering blood sugar, berberine is the supplement with a host of tricks up its sleeves. Berberine is a bioactive compound found...

Editor's picks

Peptide therapeutics company targets age-related disease

Gray Matter working with Insilico Medicine to identify peptide targets and accelerate development timeline for age-related disease therapies. Earlier this month, we brought you the...

Buck researchers provide a framework to study precision nutrigeroscience

One size doesn't fit all – a new research sub-specialty deals with the fact that health benefits from many forms of dietary restriction vary...

Accelerating antiaging research by hacking longevity

Bringing together aging researchers, developers and entrepreneurs, the Longevity Hackathon aims to build new tools, raise awareness and attract talent to the field. Kicking off...

Click the globe for translations.

Study finds people taking the drugs have fewer biomarkers of Alzheimer’s and demonstrate a slower cognitive decline.

People taking certain drugs to lower blood sugar for type 2 diabetes had less amyloid in the brain, a biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease, when compared with both people with type 2 diabetes not taking the drugs and people without diabetes. The new study in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, also found people taking these drugs, called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, showed slower cognitive decline than people in the other two groups.

Longevity.Technology: In people with type 2 diabetes, the body no longer efficiently uses insulin to control blood sugar. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, also known as gliptins, can be prescribed when other diabetes drugs do not work. They help control blood sugar when combined with diet and exercise.

“People with diabetes have been shown to have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, possibly due to high blood sugar levels, which have been linked to the buildup of amyloid beta in the brain,” said study author Phil Hyu Lee, MD, PhD, of Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea. “Not only did our study show that people taking dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors to lower blood sugar levels had less amyloid in their brains overall, it also showed lower levels in areas of the brain involved in Alzheimer’s disease [1].”

Lower amounts of amyloid plaques in the brain

The study involved 282 people, with an average age of 76, who were followed up to six years. All had been diagnosed with either pre-clinical, early or probable Alzheimer’s disease. Of the group, 70 people had diabetes and were being treated with dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, 71 had diabetes but were not being treated with the drugs and 141 did not have diabetes. Those without diabetes were matched to those with diabetes for age, sex, and education levels. All had similar scores on cognitive tests at the start of the study.

Participants had brain scans to measure the amount of amyloid in the brain.

Researchers found that people with diabetes who took the drugs had lower average amounts of amyloid plaques in the brain compared with people with diabetes who did not take the drugs and compared with people who did not have diabetes [2].

Ovarian Longevity webinar

Reduced cognitive decline in diabetes patients

All participants took a common thinking and memory test called the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) every 12 months for 2.5 years, on average. Questions include asking a person to count backward from 100 by sevens or copying a picture on a piece of paper. Scores on the test range from zero to 30.

Researchers found that people with diabetes who took the drugs had an average annual decline of 0.87 points on their MMSE score, while people with diabetes who did not take the drugs had an average annual decline of 1.65 points. People without diabetes scored an average annual decline of 1.48 points.

When researchers adjusted for other factors that could affect test scores, they found that the scores of the people taking the drug declined by 0.77 points per year more slowly than the people who did not take the drug.

“Our results showing less amyloid in the brains of people taking these medications and less cognitive decline, when compared to people without diabetes raises the possibility that these medications may also be beneficial for people without diabetes who have thinking and memory problems,” said Lee. “More research is needed to demonstrate whether these drugs may have neuroprotective properties in all people [1].”

A limitation of the study was that data were not available to show the accumulation of amyloid in participants’ brains over time. This study does not show cause and effect, it only shows an association – future research might well shed light on amyloid accumulation.

Ovarian Longevity webinar

[1] https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/4917
[2] https://n.neurology.org/content/early/2021/08/11/WNL.0000000000012534

Image credit:  CalypsoArt / Shutterstock
Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.

Most popular

Tree of Longevity – understanding how supplements work

Pathways? Hallmarks? Biomarkers? Understanding the longevity supplements lingo can help you make better choices for your healthspan. Longevity supplements differ from other 'generic supplements' as...

An antiaging supplement that also reduces appetite?

One for the AGEs: Juvify signs IP licensing deal with Buck Institute for GLYLO antiaging supplement that aims to reduce glycation. A researcher at the...

Berberine could be longevity’s “best-kept secret”

From tackling senescence to lowering blood sugar, berberine is the supplement with a host of tricks up its sleeves. Berberine is a bioactive compound found...

Spermidine: the mind-enhancing supplement

Scientists are finding that a high intake of dietary spermidine could slow down (or reverse) the brain aging process. Memory loss and slower brain function...

Related articles

X marks the spot for meaningful information on aging and cognition

Understanding chromosomal differences between men and women could be the X Factor when it comes to tackling cognitive decline. A new paper published in Jama...

Unlocking ovarian aging could prolong fertility and delay menopause

Ovarian aging is poorly understood, under-researched and under-invested. We need a radical rethink of how we address fertility and the menopause – it's time...

One protein to rule them all – a central target for treating dementia

Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University predict and confirm a key protein mediator of dementia in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Alzheimer's disease using...

Building the ovarian environment from stem cells

Researchers successfully reconstitute the ovarian follicle from mouse stem cells. Researchers led by Kyushu University have succeeded in using mouse stem cells to reconstruct structures...

From aging research to human rejuvenation research

In this paper on DNA methylation-based age clocks, researchers review the history of epigenetic clocks, age acceleration and emerging age-reprogramming strategies. DNA methylation (DNAm) is...
Nutriop