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Two New Alzheimer's Disease Studies Show Advances Against Different Treatment Targets
Date:7/28/2008

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Michal Schnaider Beeri, Ph.D., of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and colleagues hypothesized that the treatment of diabetes with insulin and other drugs may have helped reduce the observable brain damage attributed to Alzheimer's. At ICAD 2008, they reported the results of a study examining the brains of 124 persons with diabetes and 124 without diabetes, of comparable age, sex, and dementia severity, from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Brain Bank.

Diabetic subjects were classified according to their recorded lifetime anti-diabetic medications: none (n=29), insulin only (n=49), diabetes medications other than insulin only (n=28), or concomitant use of both insulin and any oral anti-diabetic medications (n=18). Densities of Alzheimer's-associated brain lesions, known as amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, were assessed in several brain regions.

The researchers found that diabetic subjects who were treated with both insulin and oral hypoglycemic agents had significantly fewer amyloid plaques (as much as 80 percent) than people in all the other categories. These other groups of subjects did not differ from each other in their 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," Beeri said. "This also points to biological pathways in the brain, such as insulin signaling, that might be a focus for developing new treatment strategies."

About ICAD

The 2008 Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD 2008) is the largest gathering of international leaders in Alzheimer research and care ever convened. At ICAD 2008, more than 5,000 researchers from 60 countries will share groundbreaking information and resources on the cause, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's and related disorders. As a part of the Association's r
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Association
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