Insulin found promising in treating Alzheimer’s

April 3rd, 2011 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 3 (IANS) Insulin in low doses has shown promise in Alzheimer’s disease, currently not amenable to any treatment.

Insulin tends to suppress the activity of four proteins associated with Alzheimer’s, according to new study by endocrinologists.

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, people may experience irritability, anxiety or depression. Later other symptoms may occur, including sleep disturbances, verbal outbursts, delusions and hallucinations.

“Our results show clearly that insulin has the potential to be developed as a therapeutic agent for Alzheimer’s, for which no satisfactory treatment is currently available,” says Paresh Dandona, senior study author and professor of medicine at Buffalo University.

One of these four proteins is linked with beta amyloid, the main component of plaques in Alzheimer’s, reports the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

In the study, a group of obese, type-2 diabetic patients were infused with two 100 ml units of insulin per hour over a period of four hours, according to a Buffalo statement.

The patients were all taking oral drugs to treat their diabetes. None of them were taking insulin or any antioxidant or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The control group received five percent dextrose per hour or normal saline solution.

The low-dose insulin was found to suppress the expression of amyloid precursor protein, from which beta amyloid is derived.

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