Diabetes drugs could be used to treat Alzheimer's, and vice versa, study finds

Drugs used to treat diabetes also could alleviate the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer's disease, a new study finds.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen created a model to study Alzheimer's, monitoring brain protein levels and glucose tolerance in mice.

The study revealed cognitive issues related to dementia can lead to changes in how the body processes glucose. Results were published in the July issue of Diabetologia,

“Until now, we always assumed that obese people get type 2 diabetes and then are more likely to get dementia – we now show that actually it also works the other way around,” lead researcher and Aberdeen translational neuroscience Professor Bettina Platt, Ph.D., told The Daily Express.

Diabetes is commonly linked pancreatic complications or the consumption of a high fat, high sugar diet.

“Additionally, it was previously believed that diabetes starts in the periphery, the pancreas and liver, often due to consumption of an unhealthy diet, but here we show that dysregulation in the brain can equally lead to development of very severe diabetes,” Platt said.

Platt added the study provides a stronger understanding of the connection between the two diseases, which could potentially lead to variety of new treatment options. Several studies testing the effectiveness of diabetes medications on the symptoms of Alzheimer's are already in progress.