Diabetes drug corrects some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice

June 4, 2020

Dr. Jing WangThese promising findings add to our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, and help set the foundation for future clinical trials,” - Dr. Jing Wang A study in mice led by Dr. Jing Wang suggests that the diabetes drug metformin may be able to reverse some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. 

The researchers found that the enzyme monoacylglycerol lipase (MgII) accumulates in the brains of mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease as they age. It plays a role in weakening spatial memory and hindering the formation of new neurons during the course of this disease.

This age-based accumulation of MgII was also found in human brain samples from patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The team found that the drug metformin was able to reduce the expression of Mgll in the mouse models, restoring neuron formation, preventing spatial memory decline and decreasing the accumulation ß-amyloid, a protein thought to play a central role in Alzheimer's disease. 

Dr. Jeff Dilworth used bioinformatic analysis to help identify Mgll as a molecular target of metformin. These findings set the stage for developing a clinical trial protocol where Mgll could be used to identify which patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may respond the best to an experimental metformin treatment. 

These promising findings add to our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, and help set the foundation for future clinical trials,” said Dr. Jing Wang senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and associate professor at the University of Ottawa.  

Source: Theranostics 

Authors: Charvi Syal, Jayasankar Kosaraju, Laura Hamilton, Anne Aumont, Alphonse Chu, Sailendra Nath Sarma, Jacob Thoma, Matthew Seegobin, F Jeffrey Dilworth, Ling He, Fredric E Wondisford, Robert Zimmermann, Martin Parent, Karl Fernandes, and Jing Wang 

Core Resources: University of Ottawa Behavioral CoreUniversity of Ottawa CBIA Core 

Funding: This work was supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. 

The Ottawa Hospital is a leading academic health, research and learning hospital proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa.  

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Scientific Program tags: Regenerative Medicine Program