Diabetes Drug Makes Brain Cells Grow
Follow all of ScienceDaily's latest research news and top science headlines ! The widely used diabetes drug metformin comes with a rather unexpected and alluring side effect: it encourages the growth of new neurons in the brain, according to researchers. Their study also finds that those neural effects of the drug also make mice smarter. New research finds that the widely used diabetes drug metformin comes with a rather unexpected and alluring side effect: it encourages the growth of new neurons in the brain. New research finds that the widely used diabetes drug metformin comes with a rather unexpected and alluring side effect: it encourages the growth of new neurons in the brain. The widely used diabetes drug metformin comes with a rather unexpected and alluring side effect: it encourages the growth of new neurons in the brain. The study reported in the July 6th issue of Cell Stem Cell, a Cell Press publication, also finds that those neural effects of the drug also make mice smarter. The discovery is an important step toward therapies that aim to repair the brain not by introducing new stem cells but rather by spurring those that are already present into action, says the study's lead author Freda Miller of the University of Toronto-affiliated Hospital for Sick Children. The fact that it's a drug that is so widely used and so safe makes the news all that much better. Earlier work by Miller's team highlighted a pathway known as aPKC-CBP for its essential role in telling neural stem cells where and when to differentiate into mature neurons. As it happened, others had found before them that the same pathway is important for the metabolic effects of the drug metformin, but in liver cells. "We put two and two together," Miller says. If metformin activates the CBP pathway in Continue reading >>
Long-term Use Of Metformin Does Not Affect Memory, Thinking
Long-term use of the blood-sugar-lowering medicine metformin is not linked with cognitive impairment (problems with thinking, memory, and problem solving), according to new research from Columbia University Medical Center. Metformin is the most commonly prescribed diabetes drug in the world, with approximately 80 million prescriptions for the medicine filled in the United States alone in 2015. Previous research on metformin, thinking, and memory has had conflicting results, with some studies indicating that the medicine is linked to impaired brain function — perhaps in part due to vitamin B12 deficiency — and even Alzheimer’s disease, and other studies suggesting that it may improve memory. To further evaluate the association between metformin and cognition, researchers looked at data from more than 2,000 adults enrolled in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. The participants were randomly assigned to either lifestyle intervention (consisting of a diet and exercise plan), metformin, or placebo (inactive treatment) to determine the effects on brain function. In years 8 and 10 of the study, the subjects were given cognitive assessment tests. The researchers found no significant differences in cognitive performance in participants who had been taking metformin for 8 years compared to those in the lifestyle prevention or placebo groups, and no correlation was found between the length of metformin use and cognitive function. A higher HbA1c level (a measure of glucose control over the previous 2–3 months) at the time of cognitive testing was linked with worse brain function. The results of the study “should be incredibly reassuring to clinicians and patients who have read reports to the contrary,” noted lead study author José A Luchsinger, MD. “I th Continue reading >>
Metformin And Alzheimer’s: A Potential New Therapy?
The diabetes drug may have a beneficial effect on neurodegenerative diseases. Metformin, a biguanide, is an oral diabetes medicine used to improve blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. There have been various studies on other uses of metformin. It may be beneficial in Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other degenerative brain cell diseases. An animal study found that metformin helps neurogenesis and enhances hippocampus, a key pathway (aPKC-CBP). Type 2 diabetes doubles the risk of having dementia; though some studies show metformin helps reduce risk, other studies show antidiabetic medications like insulin are linked to increased risk of having dementia. Animal studies show that metformin recruits endogenous neural stem cells and also promotes the genesis of new neurons. Metformin, however, needs to have been used for a longer period before a drastic reduction in neurodegenerative disease and its neuroprotective nature is seen. The purpose of this study is to find a link between antidiabetic medications, especially metformin and other neurodegenerative diseases. Also, to know how long one has to be on these antidiabetics before the neuroprotective nature kicks in. A cohort study of type 2 diabetes patients who are 55 years and above and being managed on a monotherapy antidiabetic drug of either metformin, sulfonylurea (SU), thiazolidinedione (TZD) or insulin were observed in a period of 5 years. In the course of 5 years, dementia was identified in 9.9% of the patients. Comparing those taking metformin to those taking sulfonylurea, there was a 20% reduction in dementia in those taking metformin. The hazard ratio 0.79%, a 95% confidence interval of 0.65-0.95. For TZD, metformin had a 23% reduction in having dementia as compared to TZD with hazard ratio of Continue reading >>
Could A Diabetes Drug Help Beat Alzheimer's Disease?
Most of the 20 million people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the U.S. take metformin to help control their blood glucose. The drug is ultrasafe: millions of diabetics have taken it for decades with few side effects beyond gastrointestinal discomfort. And it is ultracheap: a month's supply costs $4 at Walmart. And now new studies hint that metformin might help protect the brain from developing diseases of aging, even in nondiabetics. Diabetes is a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases, but using metformin is associated with a dramatic reduction in their incidence. In the most comprehensive study yet of metformin's cognitive effects, Qian Shi and her colleagues at Tulane University followed 6,000 diabetic veterans and showed that the longer a patient used metformin, the lower the individual's chances of developing Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other types of dementia and cognitive impairment. In line with some of the previous, smaller studies of long-term metformin use, patients in the new study who used the drug longer than four years had one quarter the rate of disease as compared with patients who used only insulin or insulin plus other antidiabetic drugs—bringing diabetics' risk level to that of the general population. The findings were presented in June at the American Diabetes Association's Scientific Sessions meeting. Even in the absence of diabetes, Alzheimer's patients often have decreased insulin sensitivity in the brain, says Suzanne Craft, a neuroscientist who studies insulin resistance in neurodegenerative disease at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. The association has led some people to call Alzheimer's “type 3 diabetes.” Insulin plays many roles in the brain—it is involved in memory formation, and it helps to keep synapses Continue reading >>
Diabetes Drug May Protect The Brain
HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- The diabetes drug metformin may do more than help control blood sugar levels: New research suggests it may also reduce the risk of dementia. Compared to people taking another class of diabetes medications called sulfonylureas, those taking metformin had a 20 percent reduced risk of developing dementia over the five-year study period. "Metformin could have a possible neuroprotective effect in the brain," said study author Dr. Rachel Whitmer, an epidemiologist in the division of research at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif. Whitmer, however, added a caveat: "This was an observational, retrospective, population-based study. We found an association, but didn't prove cause and effect." Whitmer is scheduled to present the findings Monday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston. Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. People with type 2 diabetes have double the risk of developing dementia compared to someone without diabetes, according to background information in the study. But, even though diabetes is such a significant risk factor for dementia, the researchers found that there was little research on the effect of diabetes medications on dementia risk. To see if any therapies might offer some protection against dementia, Whitmer and her colleagues reviewed data on nearly 15,000 people with type 2 diabetes who were just starting single-drug therapy for their disease. All of those included in the study were aged 55 or older, and all had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Whitmer said none of them were newly diagnosed; some had even been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as long as 10 years earlier. But none had been takin Continue reading >>
Metformin A Future Therapy For Neurodegenerative Diseases
, Volume 34, Issue12 , pp 26142627 | Cite as Metformin a Future Therapy for Neurodegenerative Diseases Theme: Drug Discovery, Development and Delivery in Alzheimer's Disease Guest Editor: Davide Brambilla Drug Discovery, Development and Delivery in Alzheimer's Disease Type 2 diabetes mellitus(T2DM) is a complex, chronic and progressive metabolic disease, which is characterized by relative insulin deficiency, insulin resistance, and high glucose levels in blood. Esteemed published articles and epidemiological data exhibit an increased risk of developing Alzheimers disease(AD) in diabetic pateints. Metformin is the most frequently used oral anti-diabetic drug, which apart from hypoglycaemic activity, improves serum lipid profiles, positively influences the process of haemostasis, and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Recently, scientists have put their efforts in establishing metformins role in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as AD,amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Parkinsons disease. Results of several clinical studies confirm that long term use of metformin in diabetic patients contributes to better cognitive function, compared to participants using other anti-diabetic drugs. The exact mechanism of metformins advantageous activity in AD is not fully understood, but scientists claim that activation of AMPK-dependent pathways in human neural stem cells might be responsible for the neuroprotective activity of metformin. Metformin was also found to markedly decease Beta-secretase 1(BACE1) protein expression and activity in cell culture models and in vivo, thereby reducing BACE1 cleavage products and the production of A(-amyloid). Furthermore, there is also some evidence that metformin decreases the activity of acetylcholinesterase(AChE), which Continue reading >>
Metformin & Your Brain | Cognitive Vitality | Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation
1 meta-analysis for Alzheimer's prevention 2 small clinical studies in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease 6 observational studies for future Alzheimer's risk in patients with type-2 diabetes Multiple observational studies have reported varying results on whether metformin may be beneficial for preventing Alzheimer's disease in type 2 diabetes patients. Three studies reported a decreased risk for cognitive impairment or dementia in diabetic patients taking metformin compared to those not taking medication or taking other diabetes drugs    . Additionally, one meta-analysis suggested a trend for reduced risk of dementia with metformin use in diabetics  . Three other studies, however, reported an increased risk for impaired cognitive performance, dementia, or Alzheimer's disease with metformin use compared to those taking other medications    . One study reported that longer metformin use was associated with an increasing risk for dementia  . Several factors could account for the varying results. Many of these studies do not account for diabetes duration, severity, or how well diabetes is controlled  . Also, metformin is often used to treat mild diabetes, so patients taking other drugs may have more severe diabetes. Additionally, long-term metformin use can decrease vitamin B12 levels, which may be a potential risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. One study reported that when controlling for vitamin B12 levels, metformin was no longer significantly associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's   . It is currently unknown whether metformin would prevent Alzheimer's disease in non-diabetic patients. Whether with metformin or another method, controlling diabetes is important for reducing your risk for Alzheimer' Continue reading >>
Antiaging Effect Of Metformin On Brain In Naturally Aged And Accelerated Senescence Model Of Rat.
Antiaging Effect of Metformin on Brain in Naturally Aged and Accelerated Senescence Model of Rat. Department of Biochemistry, University of Allahabad , Allahabad, India . Rejuvenation Res. 2017 Jun;20(3):173-182. doi: 10.1089/rej.2016.1883. Epub 2017 Jan 9. Metformin, a biguanide, is a widely used antidiabetic drug, which inhibits gluconeogenesis and is used to treat hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes. Through activation of AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) pathway, metformin also mimics caloric restriction health benefits. Aging causes substantial molecular to morphological changes in brain, the brain cells being more susceptible toward oxidative stress mediated damages due to the presence of high lipid content and higher oxygen consumption. Wistar rats (naturally aged and d-galactose induced rat model) were supplemented with metformin (300 mg/kg b.w. orally) for 6 weeks. The biomarkers of oxidative stress such as antioxidant capacity (ferric reducing antioxidant potential [FRAP]), malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH), protein carbonyl (PCO), reactive oxygen species (ROS), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, and nitric oxide (NO) were measured in brain tissues of control and experimental groups. The results indicate that metformin treatment augmented the levels of FRAP and GSH in naturally aged, and d-gal induced aging model groups compared to the respective controls. In contrast, metformin treated groups exhibited significant reduction in MDA, PCO, ROS, and NO levels and a significant increase in AChE activity in induced aging rats. The administration of d-galactose upregulated the expression of sirtuin-2, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-) and downregulated the expression of Beclin-1. Metformin supplementation downregulated th Continue reading >>
Study: Elevated Blood Sugar May Hurt Brain, Not Metformin
Study: Elevated Blood Sugar May Hurt Brain, Not Metformin A study found no link between metformin and worsening cognitionbut researchers found that whatseemed to harm cognition was instead, high blood sugar levels as indicated by an elevated HbA1c. Their findings may create confusion when compared toa recent study that leadto concerns about metformin and its possible influence on the development of Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases, particularly with long-term use. In this study, researchers analyzed the association ofthe Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) intervention arms which include lifestyle intervention, metformin, and use of a placebo in relation to cognition in the DPP Outcomes Study (DPPOS). In the study abstract the researchers wrote that they also analyzed for possible risk factors such as the use of metformin, the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the participants, and their blood sugar levels. How Did They Measure Cognitive Abilities and What Did They Find? The DPP study lasted nearly 3 years and was followed by a 13-month bridge to the DPPOS. The researchers checked cognition, or thinking skills in DPPOS in the studys year 8 and 10, with the Spanish English Verbal Learning Test (SEVLT), letter fluency tests, animal fluency tests, Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), and a composite cognitive score. The cognitive assessments were given toa total of 2,280 participants with 749 undergoing the lifestyle intervention, 776 taking metformin, and 755 taking a placebo. Participants were a median age of 63, 67.7 percent were women, 54.6 percent were non-Hispanic white, 20.7 percent non-Hispanic black, 14.6 percent Hispanic, 5.5 percent American Indian, and 4.6 percent Asian. When the cognitive tests were done, type 2 diabetes cases were higher in the placebo group Continue reading >>
Long-term Metformin Use 'has No Cognitive Impact'
Long-term Metformin Use 'Has No Cognitive Impact' The long-term use of metformin in individuals at risk of developing diabetes is not associated with worsening cognitive performance, say US investigators. The findings should reassure clinicians and patients alike that the drug is safe to use for diabetes prevention. Previous studies have suggested that metformin use may be associated with worse cognitive performance and perhaps even the development of Alzheimer's disease, while other studies have conversely indicated it may even improve memory. The current analysis of the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS), published online May 12 in Diabetes Care, shows that, in over 2000 adults, use of metformin for more than 8 years did not lead to cognitive impairment. Lead author Jos A Luchsinger, associate professor in epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, told Medscape Medical News that "of all studies that have looked at the relationship of metformin and cognition, I think that, arguably, this is the best, because of the design, because of the exposure to metformin in a randomized trial setting, and the follow-up." He said that their finding that long-term exposure to metformin does not have a negative effect on cognition "should be incredibly reassuring to clinicians and patients who have read reports to the contrary." Dr Luchsinger added: "I think that's enormously important because metformin is the most used diabetes medication in the world, and it's the one that most people who get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes get started on." Higher HbA1c Linked to Lower Cognition, but No Link With Metformin Use The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a randomized controlled trial involving 3234 individuals with prediabetes in which Continue reading >>
Effects Of Metformin On The Cerebral Metabolic Changes In Type 2 Diabetic Patients
The Scientific World Journal Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 694326, 8 pages 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 123 Dapi Road, Niaosong District, Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan 2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 123 Dapi Road, Niaosong District, Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan 3Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, 700 Kaohsiung University Road, Nanzih District, Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan 4Department of Neurology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 123 Dapi Road, Niaosong District, Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan 5Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 123 Dapi Road, Niaosong District, Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan 6Department of Nuclear Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Shengli Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan Academic Editors: A. Ciarmiello and A. Varvarigou Copyright © 2014 Yung-Cheng Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Continue reading >>
Metformin In The Diabetic Brain: Friend Or Foe?
Diabetes is fast becoming the epidemic of the 21st century. Individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are at an increased risk for developing cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer disease (AD). To avoid or slow the development of T2D-associated complications anti-diabetic agents should be capable of achieving the desired glycemic and metabolic control goal, which should be as close to normal as possible. Metformin (1,1-dimethylbiguanide), an inexpensive, well-tolerated oral anti-diabetic agent is the most widely prescribed drug for treating T2D and is recommended, in conjunction with lifestyle modification (i.e., diet and physical activity), as a first-line oral therapy (1). Besides being highly effective in improving glycemic control, metformin has also a low risk of hypoglycemia. This anti-diabetic drug can be used at all stages of T2D progression, either as monotherapy or in combination with sulfonylureas and other secretagogues, thiazolidinediones, and insulin. The mechanism of action of metformin depends on alterations in cellular energy metabolism (i.e., increased AMP/ATP ratio). Metformin exerts its glucose-lowering effect by inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis and opposing the action of glucagon. Metformin-mediated inhibition of mitochondrial complex I results in defective cAMP and protein kinase A signaling in response to glucagon. Although unnecessary for the glucose-lowering effect of metformin, the stimulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) confers insulin sensitivity, mainly through the modulation of lipid metabolism (2). Metformin can cross the blood-brain barrier and have specific effects on the central nervous system, although the exact mechanism and sites of its action remain uncertain. In addition, conflicting information exists about the benefici Continue reading >>
Breaking: Diabetes Drugs Linked To Alzheimers And Dementia
If you’re diabetic and you’re taking medication, you’re probably putting your brain at great risk. Their calling the new study from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine a “Diabetes Game-Changer." It proves that prolonged use of diabetes drugs puts you at risk for a deficiency which can cause neurological problems, including dementia, and even brain shrinkage. This study used data that was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes. This was a 5-year study that ran from 1996 until 2001. It followed more than 3,000 people who were “at risk” for diabetes. Participants were divided into three groups. Group #1 was assigned a special lifestyle change method. They were put on a very specific diet and performed light exercises. Group #2 was given the diabetes drug metformin. Group #3 was given a placebo. The purpose of this study was to see which group had the lowest rates of diabetes and took the longest to develop it. Group #1 beat the others by a landslide. The study authors were so astounded by their findings that the program morphed into a follow-up study, in which the original participants were followed for several more years. The researchers found that Group #2 (those taking metformin) were twice as likely as to have a B12 deficiency, and more likely to become anemic. More shocking yet, it was discovered that they were also more likely to develop neurological problems like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Yet, for unknown reasons, the Diabetes-Institute-funded research didn’t follow up on the special diet procedure completed by Group #1. It’s everywhere, dangerous, and under-diagnosed While we don’t hear much about it, it’s common knowledge that B12 deficiency causes dementia. And data from a large study by Tufts University* suggests that low B12 leve Continue reading >>
Metformin Causes Cell Death, Increases Risk For Alzheimer's Disease
The blockbuster drug, metformin, is considered effective, safe and cost-effective for priority conditions and a basic healthcare system. It is the most widely used medication for type 2 diabetes. While this drug was discovered nearly 100 years ago and considered safe and essential to medicine, recent research may turn this belief upside down. It should make you stop and think about that seemingly harmless drug and the subtle memory and cognitive changes that are attributed to normal aging. [Jump to: Nutritional Options] Metformin, a generic type 2 diabetes drug, and its brand name equivalents - Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, and Riomet has at least three known adverse consequences. One is the well-known issue that metformin interferes with and depletes vitamin B12 and folate and raises homocysteine levels. This finding alone is enough to make this drug worrisome for anyone with methylation concerns, seniors, digestive concerns, or gastric bypass patients as these are commonly related with vitamin B12 and folate deficiency. The second concern is the build-up of lactic acid. Lactic acid can make muscles hurt, markedly increase fatigue and rarely be deadly. It reflects an insult to normal metabolism and aerobic energy production. The third recently discovered issue is piercing its way through medical research and raises serious concerns about metformin. Metformin Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Nerve Cell Death Research published in the journal Aging, August 2016 is the latest article in a progression of cellular and animal studies that demonstrates increased risk of Alzheimer’s with chronic use of metformin. Metformin induces mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death in the brain by affecting several proteins, including beta-amyloid protein. These is Continue reading >>
Is Metformin Safe For Your Brain | Diabetic Connect
Research sheds new light on the controversy. Kent Peterson, senior editor, has also produced award-winning work in television and radio. For years, some studies have found scary evidence that metformin may raise your risk of memory and thinking problems. But other research suggests the drug may help prevent or even reverse such difficulties. Whos right? A major study may change what you think about this common diabetes medicine. Millions of people with type 2 diabetes take metformin every dayand no wonder. Its a cheap, reliable way to help lower blood sugar when diet and exercise dont do enough. Metformin is also frequently prescribed to help individuals with prediabetes reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of dementia and other cognitive disorders. Because so many of them use metformin, researchers have long wondered whether the drug might be to blame. But one study after another has produced conflicting results. Some of those studies had shortcomings: they were too small, too brief, or not well constructed enough to prove their point. To help settle the issue, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center rigorously analyzed data on more than 2,000 adults who were followed for over eight years. Their conclusion: metformin has no effect, good or bad, on cognition. Though the study was conducted on people with prediabetes, researchers believe the findings should also reassure individuals with type 2 diabetes who may have worried about metformins safety. But the study might disappoint those who hoped the drug could protect them from mental decline. This latest word on the subject will probably not be the last word. Researchers are usually the first to say that additional studies are needed to confirm new Continue reading >>