Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar.
Metformin is a drug used to treat high blood sugar levels that are caused by type 2 diabetes.
A recent study at UNSW Sydney found that people with type 2 diabetes who used metformin experienced a slower cognitive decline with lower dementia rates than those who did not use the medication.
The findings provide hope for a means of reducing the risk of dementia in people with type 2 diabetes, and potentially those without diabetes who number nearly 47 million people worldwide.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can no longer produce enough insulin to meet its needs, leaving affected people unable to maintain blood glucose levels within a normal range.
This can lead to long-term health complications, including cognitive decline.
Metformin is the first-line treatment for most cases of type 2 diabetes and one of the most commonly prescribed medications worldwide, with millions of individuals using it to optimize their blood sugar levels.
In the study, the researchers analyzed data from 123 people who had type 2 diabetes. Among them, 67 received metformin to lower blood sugar levels.
They found that people with type 2 diabetes taking metformin had much slower cognitive decline and lower dementia risk compared to those not taking metformin.
The team says metformin has been used safely to treat type 2 diabetes for 60 years.
It works by reducing the amount of glucose released from the liver into the bloodstream and allows the body’s cells to better respond to blood glucose levels.
Studies over the last decade have revealed evidence of metformin’s benefit in cancer, heart disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, and weight management.
While the current study suggests metformin may have cognitive benefits for people living with type 2 diabetes, the researchers say it may also benefit those at risk of cognitive decline more broadly.
The study was published in the journal Diabetes Care and conducted by Professor Katherine Samaras et al.
If you care about dementia, please read studies about how to prevent frontotemporal dementia, and high blood pressure may double your risk of this brain disease.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that cranberries could help boost memory, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.
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