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Published on: July 26, 2014
by Diabetes In Control:
There have been concerns and correlations seen with diabetes and risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or any form of dementia in the future. Any novel strategies to help delay or reduce the risk of dementia can be very beneficial to diabetic patients once they reach a certain point in their life. Alzheimer’s disease can be very detrimental to a patient’s health as well as their personal life.
A study was conducted in Germany starting year 2004 until 2010. German researchers followed 146,000 patients from the age of 60 and older with free of any dementia type diagnosis. They discovered out of 146,000 patients, 13,841 of them developed dementia and the ones who were prescribed an anti diabetic agent called pioglitazone, their risk of developing dementia significantly decreased.
Based on the study, they found a reduced risk of dementia with each additional three months the patient is on pioglitazone. According to Anne Fink, a researcher who helped with the trial, hypothesized that a reduction of inflammation in the brain and nervous system occurs when on pioglitazone long term.
Inflammation of the brain and nervous system has been thought to be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease and by reducing that process can prevent or delay the development of that type of dementia. The study also found that patient’s who are on pioglitazone long term has approximately 20% reduced risk of Alzheimer’s than patients who are solely on insulin.
A five year study by Takeda is currently in the process to determine whether low doses of pioglitazone to detain the mild symptoms of cognitive impairment that is caused by Alzheimer disease. The study consist of patients with normal cognitive function initially and followed up throughout the study to see if the outcome (Alzheimer’s disease) is present or not.
One con of the current study done by Takeda is that the results may not be applicable to the whole population of people with diabetes, because individuals included in the study are the ones with genetic variations that are known to increase the risk of developing dementia. Therefore, outcomes of the study may only pertain to a specific subpopulation of the people with diabetes. Further studies are needed to accurately determine whether pioglitazone can benefit every diabetic patients in reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
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