Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diabetes drug shows promise in reducing Alzheimer's disease in an experimental model

Date:
March 24, 2014
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
The diabetic drug, pramlintide, reduces amyloid-beta peptides, a major component of Alzheimer's disease in the brain and improves learning and memory in two experimental Alzheimer's disease models, researchers have discovered. These results also found Alzheimer's disease patients have a lower level of amylin in blood compared to those without this disease, and may provide a new avenue for both treatment and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that the diabetic drug, pramlintide, reduces amyloid-beta peptides, a major component of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the brain and improves learning and memory in two experimental AD models. These findings, which appear online in Molecular Psychiatry, also found AD patients have a lower level of amylin in blood compared to those without this disease. These results may provide a new avenue for both treatment and diagnosis of AD.

AD is a degenerative brain disease associated with severe functional decline and has no effective treatment. Currently there are 5 million people with Alzheimer's disease in the U.S. alone, and the cost of caring for these patients exceeds $100 billion per year. If no effective treatments are developed, the number of Alzheimer's patients is expected to grow to 14-16 million by the year 2050.

There are multiple reasons for the high costs and high failure rates associated with developing potential new drugs for AD. One factor is that most drugs do not penetrate into the brain making them ineffective for treating AD; another is that it usually takes 10-15 years to develop a new target drug to prove the safety and efficacy. According to senior author Wendy Qiu, MD, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and pharmacology & experimental therapeutics at BUSM, in contrast, some existing drugs for other diseases may penetrate into brain and may be effective for Alzheimer's disease. "Unfortunately most pharmaceuticals are reluctant to support this type of repurposing research because of limited financial benefit and some patent limitation, even though the cost is much less expensive and the development time is much shortened," she added.

Using AD models, the BUSM researchers investigated the effects of amylin on the pathogenesis of the disease. "Surprisingly, injections of amylin or pramlintide into the AD models reduced the amyloid burden as well as lowered the concentrations of amyloid-beta peptides (Aβ), a major component of AD in the brain," explained Qiu. Pramlintide is an analog of a natural occurring peptide, amylin, produced by the pancreas. "It can easily cross the blood/brain barrier and has shown favorable safety profile for diabetes patients," she added.

According to the researchers, including lead author Haihao Zhu, MD, PhD, also from the department of pharmacology & experimental therapeutics at BUSM, these results argue for a therapeutic application of amylin-class peptides for AD. "There is broad agreement that more therapeutic avenues need to be explored in addition to targeting Aβ for the treatment of AD. Amylin-class drugs not only remove Aβ from the brain, as demonstrated by our study, but also can improve glucose metabolism and cerebrovasculature in the AD brain," said Qiu. Based on their findings the researchers propose that amylin-class peptides have potential to become a new avenue as a challenge test for diagnosis of AD and as well as a therapeutic for the disease. If the clinical trial proves the effect of pramlintide for Alzheimer's disease, Qiu believes this drug can be applied to Alzheimer's patients in only three to five years.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. H Zhu, X Wang, M Wallack, H Li, I Carreras, A Dedeoglu, J-Y Hur, H Zheng, H Li, R Fine, M Mwamburi, X Sun, N Kowall, R A Stern, W Q Qiu. Intraperitoneal injection of the pancreatic peptide amylin potently reduces behavioral impairment and brain amyloid pathology in murine models of Alzheimer’s disease. Molecular Psychiatry, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/mp.2014.17

Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Diabetes drug shows promise in reducing Alzheimer's disease in an experimental model." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324104516.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2014, March 24). Diabetes drug shows promise in reducing Alzheimer's disease in an experimental model. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324104516.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Diabetes drug shows promise in reducing Alzheimer's disease in an experimental model." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324104516.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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