Investigators say experimental diabetes drug shows promise for Alzheimer's

A group of investigators studying a preclinical diabetes drug say that a new animal study underscores its potential as a new treatment for Alzheimer's.

The drug--(Val8)GLP-1--is designed to simulate GLP-1, which helps the body regulate blood sugar. But scientists at the University of Ulster say it also spurred the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus in rodents, indicating a new approach to protecting brain cells or repairing the damage caused by Alzheimer's.

"This could have huge implications for diseases like Alzheimers or Parkinson's, where brain cells are lost," said study leader Professor Christian Holscher in a statement. "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." 

It's always important to note that animal studies are just a first step in the years-long effort needed to develop new drugs. Alzheimer's Research UK supported the study, which was published in the journal Brain Research.

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