By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 12, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — Older adults who take sure diabetes medication may even see a slower decline of their reminiscence and pondering abilities, a brand new examine suggests.

Researchers in South Korea discovered that amongst older individuals who’d been having reminiscence points, these utilizing diabetes medication known as DDP-4 inhibitors sometimes confirmed a slower development in these signs over the following few years. That was in contrast with each diabetes-free older adults and people taking different diabetes medicines.

Individuals on DDP-4 inhibitors additionally confirmed smaller quantities of the “plaques” that construct up within the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

Consultants cautioned that the findings don’t show the medication can forestall or delay dementia.

To do this, researchers would wish to conduct clinical trials that instantly check the medicines, mentioned Dr. Howard Fillit, chief science officer for the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Basis in New York Metropolis.

However, he mentioned, the examine provides to proof that sure present medicines — together with some for diabetes or high blood pressure — may very well be “repurposed” for safeguarding the growing older mind.

In actual fact, different diabetes medicines, resembling metformin and GLP-1 agonists, are already being studied for slowing down declines in reminiscence and pondering abilities.

There was much less analysis, Fillit mentioned, into DDP-4 inhibitors — which embrace oral medicines like sitagliptin (Januvia), linagliptin (Tradjenta), saxagliptin (Onglyza) and alogliptin (Nesina). They share a similarity with GLP-1 agonists, in that they act on the identical “pathway” within the physique.

Fillit defined that DDP-4 inhibitors work by boosting blood ranges of GLP-1, a intestine hormone that stimulates insulin launch. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.

Individuals with diabetes are immune to insulin, which ends up in chronically excessive blood sugar ranges. Some research have discovered that folks with Alzheimer’s even have issues with insulin resistance — and researchers have speculated which will contribute to the mind degeneration seen within the illness.

However Fillit mentioned that diabetes medicines may need results past bettering insulin resistance.

Animal analysis has recommended DDP-4 inhibitors can cut back mind irritation and defend mind cells from Alzheimer’s-like harm.

For the present examine, researchers led by Dr. Phil Hyu Lee of Yonsei College Faculty of Drugs in Seoul reviewed the instances of 282 sufferers who had come to their clinic with complaints about their reminiscence and pondering skills. Mind scans had proven all had proof of amyloid — the protein that makes up Alzheimer’s-related plaques.

Of these sufferers, half had diabetes: 70 have been taking a DDP-4 inhibitor, and 71 have been utilizing different diabetes medication, most frequently metformin and sulfonylureas.

On common, the researchers discovered, sufferers on DDP-4 inhibitors had much less amyloid buildup than both the diabetes-free sufferers or these on different diabetes medicines. And over the following few years, additionally they confirmed a slower decline on assessments of reminiscence and pondering.

The findings have been printed on-line Aug. 11 within the journal Neurology.

Maria Carrillo, chief science officer for the Alzheimer’s Affiliation, confused that the examine can not show DDP-4 inhibitors decelerate the dementia course of.

One of many examine’s limitations, she famous, is that sufferers’ amyloid ranges have been solely measured at the beginning. So it is not clear whether or not these on DDP-4 inhibitors had a slower accumulation of mind plaques over time.

It is well-known, Carrillo mentioned, that folks with diabetes have the next threat of growing Alzheimer’s than these with out diabetes — although the explanations are usually not absolutely clear, she added.

Insulin resistance, in addition to excessive blood sugar, could partly clarify it, in accordance with the Alzheimer’s Affiliation. Carrillo famous that this examine didn’t have a look at sufferers’ long-term blood sugar management — and whether or not that had any position of their charges of decline over time.

“There’s some rationale for taking a look at these diabetes medication in folks with Alzheimer’s,” Carrillo mentioned.

However like Fillit, she mentioned solely randomized scientific trials — the place sufferers are randomly assigned to take a DDP-4 inhibitor or not — can show whether or not there are advantages.

One query for future research, Fillit mentioned, is whether or not DDP-4 inhibitors can gradual psychological decline in folks with out diabetes, or solely these with the illness.

As a result of Alzheimer’s is so complicated, Fillit mentioned it’s seemingly that remedy combos — geared toward totally different mechanisms behind the illness — will show handiest at treating or stopping the illness.

Each of the nonprofits encourage folks to eat a nutritious diet, train, keep away from smoking and have interaction in mentally stimulating actions to assist maintain their our bodies and minds in good condition as they age.

Extra data

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Basis has extra on protecting brain health.

SOURCES: Maria Carrillo, PhD, chief science officer, Alzheimer’s Affiliation, Chicago; Howard Fillit, MD, chief science officer, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Basis, New York Metropolis; Neurology, on-line, Aug. 11, 2021