Despite the continued efforts of researchers, Alzheimer’s disease remains incurable. However, breakthroughs are occurring every day. One of the most notable discoveries came when scientists were testing a new diabetes drug.
The Connection Between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease
Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease are closely linked. Over 40 percent of Alzheimer’s cases are caused by hyperinsulinemia, a condition where the blood’s insulin/glucose ratio is skewed in favor of insulin. Diabetes is also a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, as people with this metabolic disorder are much more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those without. Some scientists believe the damage caused by diabetes impedes blood flow to the brain, which can lead to cognitive decline and make the brain more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes can also impede insulin’s ability to reach brain cells. As insulin plays an important role in brain cell protection, diabetes can increase the rate of cognitive decline.
Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease are two of the many serious health issues older adults are susceptible to. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Lehigh Valley home care company you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
Outside the Box Solutions
Because of the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and other health issues, scientists have started researching whether drugs developed for conditions such as diabetes have a positive impact on Alzheimer’s. Usually, it takes years for drugs to go from experimentation to practical application. When scientists find new applications for existing drugs, seniors with Alzheimer’s disease can get the treatment they need more quickly.
The Success of Diabetes Drugs
Scientists at Lancaster University studied the impact of a drug known as a triple receptor agonist on mice with Alzheimer’s disease. The drug activates three neural receptors: glucagon, GLP, and GLP-1, and it may be able to ward off Alzheimer’s disease in multiple ways.
When people develop Alzheimer’s disease, the brain’s growth factor signaling abilities diminish. The new diabetes drug may be able to stimulate the brain cells that have been damaged, thus reversing some of the cognitive decline.
Taking medications can be beneficial for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, but they may need help managing their medications. A professional in-home caregiver is the perfect solution. Families looking to hire a Lehigh Valley elderly caregiver can reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers receive extensive ongoing training to ensure they provide the high-quality in-home care seniors need and deserve.
The Lancaster University researchers conducted the trial on mice engineered to develop Alzheimer’s disease. To track the memory progress of the mice, scientists used a maze, allowing them to quantify memory formation and learning abilities. They found that the mice demonstrated a marked improvement in cognitive function. When the brains of the mice were studied, scientists discovered that levels of toxic amyloid plaques were reduced and that the rate of nerve cell loss had slowed. The brains also showed fewer signs of oxidative stress and increased levels of important growth factors. In short, the diabetes drug exhibited impressive neuroprotective effects in mice with Alzheimer’s disease.
What About Humans?
The drug has not yet been tested on humans with Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists at Lancaster University hope to begin testing on humans soon. If human beings show positive response to the diabetes drug, the medicine may be a boon for millions of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease around the world.
Alzheimer’s disease is a serious medical condition that impacts a senior’s cognitive function and overall health. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Lehigh Valley live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. To hire a professionally trained home care expert for your aging loved one, call us at 484-350-3874 today.