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Possibility dementia patients could benefit from diabetes drugs, say scientists

July 5, 2016

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen have said that UK treatments regularly issued to type 2 diabetics could have benefits for those who suffer from dementia.

The news comes after researchers inspired by previous studies, which found a link between the two conditions, delved further into the similarities between symptoms and their causes in elderly patients.

Aberdeen Alzheimer’s expert Professor Bettina Platt and Professor Mirela Delibegovic, of the university’s Alzheimer’s research team, found that the production of toxic proteins in the brain in both diseases could be attributed to increased levels of one common gene.

“We have been able to investigate the nature of the link in great detail,” said Professor Platt.

“This study provides a new therapeutic angle into Alzheimer’s disease and we now think that some of the compounds that are used for obesity and diabetic deregulation might potentially be beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients as well.

“The fact is that around 80 per cent of people with Alzheimer’s disease also have some form of diabetes or disturbed glucose metabolism”.

Dr Emily Burns, research communications manager at Diabetes UK, said that human trials could be on the horizon.

She said: “While this area of research could potentially help to combat the progression of both conditions in the future, we are currently at a very early stage and need to see if the results apply in a human setting.”

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