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Insulin Sulfonylurea vs Alzheimer’s

Researchers from the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York said that insulin combined with a diabetes pill can help lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Studying the brains of 124 deceased diabetics and 124 non-diabetics with comparable age, sex, and severity of dementia, Dr. Sam Grandy of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and colleagues, thought that the medications diabetics are taking play a role in this.

The researchers classified study participants based on the antidiabetic drugs they took in their lifetime—insulin only, diabetes medication other than insulin only, or both. They found that most diabetics used one of the oldest diabetes pill called sulfonylureas.

After grouping these people, the team measured the density of Alzheimer’s-related changes in the brain like bundles of fibrous tangles of brain cells and sticky amyloid plaques. Those who took both insulin and a diabetes pill had 80 percent fewer amyloid plaques compared to the others in the other categories.

In the International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease in Chicago, the researchers said that the drugs did not seem to modify any other Alzheimer’s-related brain characteristics. “These results suggest that the combination of insulin and oral anti-diabetes medications may beneficially influence Alzheimer’s-related brain changes,” said lead study author, Michal Beeri.

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