Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diabetes drug could help fight Alzheimer's disease, study reveals

Date:
September 14, 2012
Source:
University of Ulster
Summary:
A drug designed for diabetes sufferers could have the potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, a new study reveals.

A drug designed for diabetes sufferers could have the potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, a study by scientists at the University of Ulster has revealed.

Type II diabetes is a known risk factor for Alzheimer's and it is thought that impaired insulin signalling in the brain could damage nerve cells and contribute to the disease.

Scientists believe that drugs designed to tackle Type II diabetes could also have benefits for keeping our brain cells healthy.

To investigate this, Prof Christian Hölscher and his team at the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute on the Coleraine campus used an experimental drug called (Val8)GLP-1.

This drug simulates the activity of a protein called GLP-1, which can help the body control its response to blood sugar. The scientists treated healthy mice with the drug and studied its effects in the brain.

Although it is often difficult for drugs to cross from the blood into the brain, the team found that (Val8)GLP-1 entered the brain and appeared to have no side-effects at the doses tested.

The drug promoted new brain cells to grow in the hippocampus, an area of the brain known to be involved in memory. This finding suggests that as well as its role in insulin signalling, GLP-1 may also be important for the production of new nerve cells in the mouse brain.

The team found that blocking the effect of GLP-1 in the brain made mice perform more poorly on learning and memory task, while boosting it with the drug seemed to have no effect on behaviour.

The new findings, published this week in the journal Brain Research, are part of ongoing research funded by Alzheimer's Research UK, the leading dementia research charity.

Prof Hölscher, said: "Here at the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, we are really interested in the potential of diabetes drugs for protecting brain cells from damage and even promoting new brain cells to grow. This could have huge implications for diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, where brain cells are lost.

"It is very encouraging that the experimental drug we tested, (Val8)GLP-1, entered the brain and our work suggests that GLP-1 could be a really important target for boosting memory. While we didn't see benefits on learning and memory in these healthy mice, we are keen to test the drugs in mice with signs of Alzheimer's disease, where we could see real improvements."

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "We are pleased to have supported this early stage research, suggesting that this experimental diabetes drug could also promote the growth of new brain cells. While we know losing brain cells is a key feature of Alzheimer's, there is a long way to go before we would know whether this drug could benefit people with the disease.

"This research will help us understand the factors that keep nerve cells healthy, knowledge that could hold vital clues to tackling Alzheimer's. With over half a million people in the UK living with the disease, learning more about how to keep our brain cells healthy is of vital importance. Funding for dementia research lags far behind that of other common diseases, but is essential if we are to realise the true potential of research like this."

The Biomedical Science Research Institute (BMSRI) in Coleraine, is one of 15 University Research Institutes at Ulster and ranked second in the UK in the last national Research Assessment Exercise in 2008.

The BMSRI has been conducting pioneering research to investigate the underlying causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of human degenerative diseases."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Ulster. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephen F.J. McGovern, Kerry Hunter, Christian Hölscher. Effects of the glucagon-like polypeptide-1 analogue (Val8)GLP-1 on learning, progenitor cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the C57B/16 mouse brain. Brain Research, 2012; 1473: 204 DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.07.029

Cite This Page:

University of Ulster. "Diabetes drug could help fight Alzheimer's disease, study reveals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120914131536.htm>.
University of Ulster. (2012, September 14). Diabetes drug could help fight Alzheimer's disease, study reveals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120914131536.htm
University of Ulster. "Diabetes drug could help fight Alzheimer's disease, study reveals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120914131536.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins