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 >>
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 >>
The Effect Of Diabetes Medication On Cognitive Function: Evidence From The Path Through Life Study
The Effect of Diabetes Medication on Cognitive Function: Evidence from the PATH Through Life Study Centre for Research in Ageing Health and Wellbeing, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia *Pushpani M. Herath: [email protected] Received 2016 Feb 9; Accepted 2016 Mar 14. Copyright 2016 Pushpani M. Herath 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. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Objective. To examine the effect of diabetes treatment on change of measures of specific cognitive domains over 4 years. Research Design and Methods. The sample was drawn from a population-based cohort study in Australia (the PATH Through Life Study) and comprised 1814 individuals aged 6569 years at first measurement, of whom 211 were diagnosed with diabetes. Cognitive function was measured using 10 neuropsychological tests. The effect of type of diabetes treatment (diet, oral hypoglycemic agents, and insulin) on measures of specific cognitive domains was assessed using Generalized Linear Models adjusted for age, sex, education, smoking, physical activity level, BMI, and hypertension. Results. Comparison of cognitive function between diabetes treatment groups showed no significant effect of type of pharmacological treatment on cognitive function compared to diet only group or no diabetes group. Of those on oral hypoglycaemic treatment only, participants who used metformin alone had better cognitive function at baseline for the domains of verbal learning, working memory, and executive function compared to participants on other forms of diabetic treatment. Conclusion. Continue reading >>
New Metformin Warning: Mandatory Supplementation With Vitamin B12
The most common medication used in women with PCOS is the insulin-sensitizer metformin. Research is strongly showing that long-term use of metformin and at high doses (1.5mg or higher daily) can deplete levels of vitamin B12. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause permanent neurological and nerve damage as well as mood changes and decreased energy. Here’s what you need to know to avoid a vitamin B12 deficiency if you take metformin. About Metformin Metformin is a medication that became available in the U.S. in 1995 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Metformin is the most widely used medication used to lower insulin levels in those with polycystic ovary syndrome. Other names for metformin include glucophage, glucophage XR, glumetza, and fortamet. Metformin lowers blood glucose levels in three ways: It suppresses the liver’s production of glucose. It increases the sensitivity of your liver, muscle, fat, and cells to the insulin your body makes. It slows the absorption of carbohydrates you consume Metformin use may affect the absorption of vitamin B12 possibly through alterations in intestinal mobility, increased bacterial overgrowth, or alterations of the vitamin B12-intrinsic factor complex. Metformin can cause a malabsorption in B12 due to digestive changes, which leads to the binding of B12-intrinsic factor complex (intrinsic factor is needed to absorb B12 in the gut) and a reduction of B12 absorption. Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Metformin Users The largest study thus far to examine the link between metformin and vitamin B12 is the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DDPOS). This study looked at B12 levels of individuals with prediabetes who took 850 mg Metformin 2x/day and compared them to those taking a placebo. At 5 years, 4.3% of the metformin users had 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 >>
Metformin And Dementia - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
Metformin ...a commonly prescribed drug to control blood sugar might increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Metformin ...a common diabetic drug may help in fighting brain disorders like Alzheimer's or dementia Late last year a friend and reader of this blog suggested I look into the drug Metformin as possibly being beneficial in treating FTD. It was published all over the place that Metformin was a possible cure for Alzheimer's - even Time Magazine picked up the story. Well, it made for nice headlines, but after a couple months of digging more deeply into the actual research I am left a little confused, and very skeptical. To be sure you really have to dig deep to get a clear picture. If you were to Google "Metformin + Dementia" the results returned are overwhelmingly positive. If you Google "Metformin+increased amyloid" they are overwhelmingly negative. The way I see it, in my own demented mind, is that the research needs to be interpreted very conservatively when it comes to pointing a finger at Metformin as either a cause or a cure. It is probably neither. When I delved into the actual chemistry it appears that it is Insulin, rather than Metformin, that is causing the actual beneficial effects observed. Metformin serves to manipulate the uptake and activity of Insulin in the brain, and influences the utilization of glucose in the process. It all comes back to the original hypothesis that Amyloid and Tau overproduction and phosphorylization is a byproduct of brain cells being starved for nutrition, and overproducing those substances in a last-gasp effort at survival. That is just my oversimplified summary-interpretation of what is going on based on the result that Metformin alone causes an increase in amyloid, and Metformin along with Insulin reduces amyloid. Mor 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 >>
Diabetes Drug Metformin May Impair Cognition, Study Finds
Diabetes Drug Metformin May Impair Cognition, Study Finds Metformin use in some patients with type 2 diabetes is associated with cognitive impairment that might be alleviated with vitamin B12 and calcium supplementation, a new study from Australia suggests. This isn't the first time metformin has been linked to cognitive problems stemming from vitamin B12 deficiency, but prior data have been conflicting, lead author Eileen M. Moore, PhD, a medical research scientist in the department of surgery, Deakin University, Geelong Hospital, Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia, told Medscape Medical News. Up to 30% of patients taking metformin may be deficient in B12, and this is thought to be due to an interaction between metformin and a receptor in the distal ileum, leading to some inhibition in the uptake of the vitamin, she and her colleagues say. However, she told Medscape Medical News, "Metformin remains a very effective first-line antidiabetic drug and may reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with diabetes. Clinicians and patients should not be alarmed by these findings, but the need to monitor and correct vitamin-B12 levels is highlighted." Adriaan Kooy, MD, PhD, director of the Bethesda Diabetes Research Center, Hoogeveen, the Netherlands, agrees. "This studyis highly interesting and asks for further research. The malabsorption of neurovitamins like B12 in metformin users may contribute to neuronal dysfunction potentially being misinterpreted as diabetic neuropathy," he noted. However, "it is unknown to [what] extent these changes might result in cognitive dysfunction," he added. And he too said there's no reason to panic. "There is insufficient evidence to be really concerned now. Why did the huge amount of epidemiological data not show any indication? Further evaluati Continue reading >>
Metformin For Protection Against Alzheimer's, Cancer And Heart Disease?
With commentary by Nir Barzilai, MD, director of the Institute for Aging Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Brian Kennedy, PhD, president and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Metformin may influence fundamental aging factors that underlie many age-related conditions, including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's, says Nir Barzilai, MD, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Bronx. "Metformin is generic, and it's cheap," Dr. Barzilai says. And accumulating data suggests that ''it interferes with the biology of aging." Aging, he says, is a primary risk factor for not only diabetes but also most of our big killers, such as Alzheimer's, heart disease and cancer. In animal and human studies, metformin has shown promise in slowing the aging process and halting diseases. To study the potential of metformin further, Dr. Barzilai plans to launch a large-scale study, Targeting Aging with METformin (TAME), to look at the effects of metformin compared to placebo. His team has already completed the MILES study, Metformin in Longevity, and are analyzing the results. In that study, they gave some participants metformin, at 1,700 milligrams a day, and others placebo. The aim was to see if the metformin could restore the gene expression profile of an older person with blood sugar problems known as impaired glucose tolerance (but not yet diabetic), to that of a younger person. Dr. Barzilai knows he has critics of his approach. He brushed them off, saying the people who don't see the value of the research ''don't understand the biology of aging and that it can be changed." He doesn't see the research as testing an anti-aging drug. "Aging is not a disease and we don't want it to be a disease," he says. Howe Continue reading >>
5 Surprising Causes Of Memory Loss
You can't find your keys or you forget an appointment. For many people in middle age or older, simple acts of forgetfulness like these are scary because they raise the specter of Alzheimer's disease. But Alzheimer’s is not the only health issue that can lead to forgetfulness, which is often treatable if you know the cause, according to the National Institute on Aging. Memory loss can happen at any age and for a number of reasons. “Patients might experience memory loss and describe their symptoms similarly, but a doctor can tease apart what parts of the brain are affected,” says Seth Gale, MD, a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He points out things like polypharmacy (taking several medications), significant depression, and poor sleep that can lead to memory complaints. “When you drill down and find out what is actually happening with brain function, you can reassure someone. They have the capacity to learn and store information but because of their overloaded mental resources, they are having trouble,” says Dr. Gale. Talk with your doctor about concerns you may have about your memory, so the condition responsible for your symptoms can be addressed. Discussing your symptoms and taking various tests, possibly including an MRI, may help your doctor determine what is affecting your memory, Gale says. In some cases, one or more of the following issues could play a role. 1. Sleep Apnea This common but treatable sleep disorder causes breathing to stop briefly and frequently throughout the night. It is linked to memory loss and dementia, according to Constantine Lyketsos, MD, director of the Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine and professor and chair of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview. You might have sleep apnea Continue reading >>
Metformin And Impaired Thinking
According to new research from Australia, the oral diabetes medicine metformin is linked to impaired brain function, but supplementation with vitamin B12 may reduce some of the cognitive effects. Metformin is the most widely used diabetes drug in the world, with over 61 million prescriptions for the medicine filled in the United States alone in 2012. To evaluate the effects of the drug on cognitive impairment in people with diabetes, researchers recruited 1,354 people from various locations in Australia. The researchers included people with Alzheimer disease and mild cognitive impairment, as well as those who were cognitively normal, but they did not include people with stroke or neurological conditions other than Alzheimer. The participants had an average age of 73.8 and almost 60% were female The study used an evaluation known as the mini-mental state exam to determine cognitive performance. According to the results, slightly more than half of the participants were not cognitively impaired, while 21.8% were minimally impaired, 17.7% were mildly impaired, and 10.1% were most impaired. In their analysis, the researchers found that people with Type 2 diabetes had worse cognitive performance than those without Type 2 and that, among those with diabetes, people taking metformin had worse cognitive performance than those not taking the medicine. Cognitive function scores were also found to be lower among those with vitamin B12 levels of less than 250 pmol/l. Because metformin is known to be associated with B12 deficiency, the investigators suggested that “any effect metformin has on cognitive performance may be at least partially mediated by altering serum vitamin B12 levels.” Limitations of the study include an insufficient amount of information about the duration of t Continue reading >>
In Some Patients Metformin Impairs Thinking
The widely acclaimed diabetes drug metformin was linked with impaired brain function in patients who took the drug, although supplementation with vitamin B12 may alleviate metformin-induced deficiencies, according to new research. In a retrospective study, diabetic patients who were taking metformin had worse cognitive performance than those not taking the drug (odds ratio 2.23, 95% CI 1.05-4.75), Eileen Moore, PhD, of the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues reported online in Diabetes Care. Additionally, patients with diabetes who had vitamin B12 levels less than 250 pmol/L also had worse cognitive performance (OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.12-4.66), and the association between metformin and cognitive impairment was weakened after adjusting for vitamin B12 levels, they stated. "Increased monitoring of cognitive ability in patients with diabetes who use metformin is warranted, particularly among older adults," they wrote, adding that "prospective trials are warranted to assess the beneficial effects of vitamin B12 and calcium use on cognition in older people with diabetes who are taking metformin." Metformin has been hailed as a sort of wonder drug, with benefits in a number of comorbidities including heart disease and cancer. But some research has suggested that it's not such a boon to cognitive outcomes, mainly because of its association with vitamin B12 deficiency. To assess the effects of the drug on cognitive performance, the researchers looked at data from 1,354 patients involved in various trials: the Primary Research in Memory (PRIME) clinics study, the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers, and Lifestyle (ABIL) study, and clinical data from the Barwon region of southeastern Australia. Moore and colleagues included patients with Alzheimer's disease and mild cognit Continue reading >>
Metformin Side Effects And How To Deal With Them
Metformin side effects include diabetic neuropathy, brain fog, and digestive issues. You can address them through diet, Vitamin B12, CoQ10, and exercise. Let us understand the drug Metformin in detail and study different forms of metformin, its uses and common metformin side effects along with how to deal with them. Metformin: What Is It Used For? Metformin is an old warhorse in the pharma battle against diabetes. It has been the mainstay in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes for more than fifty years, often matching or outperforming newer drugs. In fact, many new combination drugs are often created with metformin as one of the main ingredients. Thanks to its long run in the pharmaceutical world, the side effects of Metformin are also well known. The Metformin-PCOS connection has been studied extensively since a majority of health complications associated with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) are due to hyperinsulinemia (high amounts of insulin in the blood stream). Metformin is known to reduce circulating insulin levels. The use of this drug in women with PCOS has shown highly encouraging results. RELATED: 10 Easy Breakfast Ideas For Diabetics Most Prescribed Names in Metformin Category Include: Fortamet: It is an extended-release formulation that contains metformin hydrochloride. The tablets are designed for once-a-day administration. They deliver either 500 mg or 1000 mg of metformin. The tablet is made using a patented technology called SCOTTM that delivers the active compound slowly and at a constant rate. Glucophage: Glucophage tablets contain metformin hydrochoride. They contain either 500 mg, 850 mg or 1000 mg of the active compound. Glucophage tablets do not contain any special covering and need to be taken multiple times a day until the prescribed dosage is me Continue reading >>
Does Metformin Cause Memory Loss?
In this article, our pharmacist discusses whether or not metformin causes memory loss and how to reverse the effects. Does metformin cause memory loss? I feel as though the longer I have been on the drug, I have gotten worse. Answer Current evidence suggests that metformin does in fact have a negative effect on memory, although more studies are needed. Interestingly, early studies indicated that metformin showed potential promise in treating and preventing certain neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease. In Vitro studies (i.e. studies conducted in the lab in a non-biological context) showed that metformin could prevent the formation of amyloid beta peptides, one of the hallmarks of neurodegeneration in Parkinson's Disease. Furthermore, studies in mice have shown that metformin promoted neurogenesis (i.e. generation of new neurons) and enhanced memory in rodents, as well as a overall reduction in oxidative stress. Unfortunately, these past results don't seem to have transferred over to the human use of metformin. Many current studies now show that metformin is associated with cognitive decline. In fact, there have been studies that suggest a nearly two fold increase in the likelihood of mental impairment in those taking metformin versus those who are not. Worse yet, metformin has been linked to an increased risk of developing dementia and Parkinson's Disease. One study followed over 9,000 patients for up to 12 years and found that the risk Parkinson’s disease, as well as dementia, increased over 50 percent during that period in those who took metformin. They concluded that long term metformin exposure in patients with diabetes may lead to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. The problem with most of the studies linking metf Continue reading >>
Study: Metformin Linked To Higher Risk Of Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s
A recent study found that the use of metformin in people with diabetes increased their risk for developing dementia and Parkinson’s Disease. This may be surprising as not too long ago, we reported on a different study which found the opposite–that using metformin might lower the risk for dementia in older men. The study from Taiwanese researchers was presented on March 29, 2017 at The 13th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases in Vienna Austria by Dr. Yi-Chun Kuan from the Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University, New Taipei City, Taiwan. The researchers found that long-term use of metformin may raise the risk of neurodegenerative disease in those with type 2 diabetes. How Harmful Might Metformin Be to the Brain? As reported by Medscape Medical News, Yi-Chun Kuan and team conducted a cohort study to follow a total 9,300 patients with type 2 diabetes in Taiwan for up to 12 years. They checked records for these patients from the National Health research database of Taiwan including 4,651 who had metformin prescriptions and 4651 matched controls who didn’t take any metformin. Dr. Kuan told Medscape they adjusted for age, sex, and diabetes severity and that despite this, “the cumulative incidences of Parkinson’s and dementia were significantly higher for our metformin cohort” at 12 years. In fact, the risk for Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s dementia went up over 50 percent during a 12 year period in those who took metformin when compared to those who did not. Researchers also found that “outcome risks increased progressively with higher dosage and longer duration of treatment.” Dr. Yi-Chun Kuan said, “We’d heard about a possible protective effect from metformin. However, we found the reverse,” and she added t Continue reading >>