Repurposing diabetes drugs for brain insulin resistance in Alzheimer disease

Yarchoan M, Arnold SE. Repurposing diabetes drugs for brain insulin resistance in Alzheimer disease. Diabetes. 2014. DOI:10.2337/db14-0287.

Key points: 

  • Data suggest that cellular insulin resistance and insulin insufficiency are occurring in the brain in Alzheimer disease, leading some to refer to Alzheimer disease as “type 3 diabetes”
  • Studies have shown a link between abnormal insulin signaling and Alzheimer disease
    • Insulin plays an important role in normal functioning of the brain
    • The way that this insulin-signaling dysfunction relates to AD pathology and cognitive dysfunction is unclear
     
  • Potential role for agents developed for type 2 diabetes to restore insulin signaling in Alzheimer disease
    • All agents developed for diabetes may impact Alzheimer disease indirectly via effects on glucose, insulin, inflammatory markers, and generation of reactive oxygen species and advanced glycation end products
    • Of particular interest: therapies that cross the blood-brain barrier and are active in brain tissue, particularly those that affect signaling via the
      IRS-1 --> AKT pathway
      • No currently approved drugs directly modulate this pathway
       
     
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Agents Used to Treat Type 2 Diabetes May Have Potential for Alzheimer Disease  
Agents Used to Treat Type 2 Diabetes May Have Potential for Alzheimer Disease 

Use of type 2 diabetes medications to treat Alzheimer disease is investigational and not FDA approved

   

June 2014 

This overview was created by KnowledgePoint360 Group, LLC, and was not associated with funding via an educational grant or a promotional/commercial interest.  

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Last Modified: 8/4/2014