Diabetes drug could restore memory in Alzheimer's
One of the scariest thoughts about Alzheimer's disease is that there is little way to control it once it has set in, and restoring brain function is a seemingly distant goal. But Canadian researchers may have found an unlikely way to restore memory in Alzheimer's patients: a diabetes drug.
AC253, originally developed for the treatment of diabetes, never made it to the market. But scientists at the University of Alberta were successfully able to use the drug to block the toxic effects of amyloid protein, which leads to brain-cell death.
In initial testing, the researchers were able to test memory capacity in the brain tissue of mice that had been engineered to develop Alzheimer's. By blocking the harmful protein, cells were able to "remember" the experience, a dramatic breakthrough for Alzheimer's research.