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Diabetes drug could be used in battle with Alzheimer's

By David Wilcock

A drug developed to tackle diabetes could be used to treat Alzheimer's after "significantly" reversing memory loss in tests on mice, scientists say.

A so-called "triple receptor drug" created to treat type 2 diabetes helped reduce the amount of amyloid plaques associated with the degenerative brain disorder, the University of Lancashire team found.

It also slowed the rate of nerve cell loss and increased levels of a chemical that helps the cells function.

The scientists believe it could bring new hope to the hundreds of thousands of Britons suffering from Alzheimer's.

Professor Christian Holscher, who led the research, said the research "shows promise as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's". Type 2 diabetes is known to be a risk factor for Alzheimer's.

In the UK an estimated 850,000 people are living with dementia, most of whom have Alzheimer's.

The Alzheimer's Society, which part-funded the research, said the number of people suffering with the disorder in the UK could reach two million by the middle of the century.

Dr Doug Brown, director of research and development, said: "With no new treatments in nearly 15 years, we need to find new ways of tackling Alzheimer's.

"It's imperative that we explore whether drugs developed to treat other conditions can benefit people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia."

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