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Alzheimer’s Treatment - Diabetes Drug may help treat Alzheimer’s disease

July 17th, 2006

Alzheimer’s Treatment - Diabetes Drug may help treat Alzheimer’s disease


Research from the University of Virginia Health System and Case Western Reserve University found that a drug called piogliatozone HCI, which is used to treat type 2 Diabetes may also help people suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s disease damages the brain’s ability to think and remember well and affects approximately 4.5 million people in the United States.

"We believe that the drug may reduce the body's inflammatory reaction to one of the toxic components that builds up in Alzheimer's, called amyloid plaque,” said Dr. David Geldmacher, an associate professor of neurology at UVa.  The study was first reported at the world's largest Alzheimer's conference, ICAD 2006, in Madrid, Spain on July 16th, 2006.  There is a growing idea of a relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer’s that have made ICAD organizers highlight this study.


"We don't know exactly how pioglitazone works in Alzheimer's, but there are two possibilities," Geldmacher said. "It could be that the drug reduces the body's response to the amyloid protein found in Alzheimer's. Or, it could be that this drug helps brain cells function. The real advantage is that it's a completely novel approach to treating the disease."

The next step for Geldmacher along with his fellow researchers is to conduct a larger scale study of 200 – 300 Alzheimer’s patients taking pioglitazone in a nationwide project.

"If it works, this treatment might allow people to better hold on to memory and brain function over a period of time, despite having Alzheimer's," Geldmacher said. "It could also complement other treatments and become part of a multi-pronged approach to Alzheimer's treatment."

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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