A drug developed for diabetes could be used to treat Alzheimer’s after scientists found it “significantly reversed memory loss” in mice through a triple method of action.
Triple receptor drugs, originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes, were tested on mice with severe nerve cell degeneration
Experts found their learning and memory formation were much improved by the drug.
It also protected nerve cell functioning, reduced Alzheimer’s-linked brain plaques, and slowed the rate of cell loss.
Prof Christian Holscher, of Lancaster University, said his team’s research “holds clear promise of being developed into a treatment”.
He added: “Clinical studies with an older version of this drug type already showed very promising results in people with Alzheimer’s or with mood disorders.
“Further tests and comparisons with other drugs are needed to evaluate if this drug is superior.”
Several studies have suggested that adults with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Two million Brits could have the brain disease by 2051.
Dr Doug Brown, of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “With no new treatments in nearly 15 years, we need new ways of tackling the disease.
“We must explore if drugs to treat other conditions can be of benefit.”