Diabetes Medication May Help Treat Alzheimer's Disease
Previous studies found that patients with 2 type of diabetes have higher rates of dementia. In addition, a study that was published in the UK earlier this year showed that high blood pressure may be a causal link between diabetes and dementia. However, what connects these two states is still unclear.
Scientists are increasingly noticing unusually low rates of neurodegenerative diseases in groups of patients with diabetes who are taking certain drugs for the disease. For example, in elderly patients who take metformin, the rate of decline in cognitive function was significantly slower than in patients without diabetes who do not take this drug.
In the new study, researchers examined a special class of diabetes drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4i) inhibitors, also known as gliptins. Using retrospective data, the researchers compared the results of brain scans and cognitive tests in a group of 70 diabetic patients who took DPP-4i with a group of 71 diabetic patients who did not take the drug. The control group consisted of 141 patients without diabetes. The median age of the study participants was 76 years, and all had early signs of Alzheimer's disease.
Scientists followed the volunteers for six years and then measured their cognitive abilities using the MMSE test. It turned out that in diabetic patients taking DPP-4i drugs, the test results, on average, from year to year, are lower by 0.87 points. For comparison, in patients with diabetes who did not receive DPP-4i drugs, the annual decrease was 1.65 points, and in patients without diabetes - 1.48 points.