Alzheimer’s Treatment Could Restore Brain Cell Memory

    December 13, 2012
    Sean Patterson
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A new study has shown that a drug intended to treat diabetes could restore memory in brain cells affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, demonstrated that a drug named AC253, which never made it to market as a diabetes treatment, could block the effects of amyloid protein in the brain. Amyloids can lead to brain cell death, and are found in abnormally large amounts in the brains of dementia patients.

“This is very important because it tells us that drugs like this might be able to restore memory, even after Alzheimer’s disease may have set in,” said Dr. Jack Jhamandas, the principal investigator on the study and a researcher at the University of Alberta.

The researchers looked at brain tissue samples from animals with Alzheimer’s and tested their memory capacity by shocking them with electrical impulses. When AC253 was given to the brain cells, it was found through further shock memory tests that the cells had had their memory capacity restored to levels similar to normal brain cells.

“I think what we discovered may be part of the solution, but I can’t say it will be the solution,” said Jhamandas. “There is a long list of drugs and approaches that haven’t panned out as expected in the fight against Alzheimer’s. I don’t think one drug or approach will solve Alzheimer’s disease because it’s a complicated disease, but I am cautiously optimistic about our discovery and its implications.”

The researchers will continue their testing to see if the drug can be used to prevent the impairment of behavior and cognition in animals that will develop Alzheimer’s. The tests will take at least a year to complete, but Jhamandas believes clinical trials could begin within five years.

  • Rita DiTrani

    My husband suffered from Alzheimers/LBDA dementia. While his blood sugar tests were always normal, I observed him over a period of years and noticed a strong correlation between his unusually strong sugar cravings and degree of dementia which was manifest at any particular time. I asked the doctors about considering a medication to regulate his blood sugar and noted my observations. They never took me seriously. I knew I was on to something,however, since I had such a long period of time in which to closely monitor his symptoms. Too late for him, he has passed away. Hope this research will help others.

  • Wenchypoo

    Researchers have been calling Alzheimer’s the Type 3 diabetes for a few years now. Some have even gone so far as to propose new guidelines for blood glucose levels and when to start administering insulin–the new normal levels would be 89-100, and insulin would be introduced at 100+. Anything from 90-100 would be considered the insulin resistance level, and the onset of metabolic syndrome.

    I’m not waiting for these proposals to become the new standard–I’m taking steps to lower MY OWN sugar and carb intake so I don’t ever get there…or at least get there later.

    It would vastly help the nation and rising medical costs if WE ALL took such an interest in preventing Alzheimer’s by adopting these proposed blood sugar standards sooner rather than later, but judging by the political climate, economic climate, and the new school lunch standards, we aren’t anywhere close to helping ourselves, and thus, the country and each other.

    In this instance, it’s every human for itself. Take the plunge and lower your carb/sugar intake NOW to save money later!