Older type of type 2 diabetes drugs may reduce dementia risk

Credit: Artem Podrez / Pexels

Researchers from the University of Arizona and elsewhere conducted a study and found that an older class of drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes, called glitazones or thiazolidinediones (TZDs), is linked to a 22% reduced risk of developing dementia.

This discovery is important because type 2 diabetes and dementia share some of the same physiological patterns, and these findings suggest that diabetes drugs could also help prevent or treat dementia.

The study compared the risk of dementia in older people with type 2 diabetes who were treated with either sulfonylurea, metformin, or TZDs.

The team analyzed the electronic health records of 559,106 people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes from the national Veteran Affairs Health System between January 2000 and December 2019.

Only older patients who received their first prescription of metformin, a sulfonylurea, or a TZD between January 2001 and December 2017 were included in the study.

The team followed up with the patients’ health for an average of almost eight years.

The research found that after at least one year of drug treatment, the use of TZDs alone was associated with a 22% lower risk of dementia from any cause, compared to the use of metformin alone.

In addition, the use of TZDs was linked to an 11% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and a 57% lower risk of vascular dementia.

The researchers suggest that TZDs may help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by improving the vascular system.

Moreover, as vascular diseases increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, TZDs may be beneficial in reducing the risk of dementia.

The team also found that combining metformin and TZDs lowered the risk of dementia from any cause by 11%. On the other hand, using sulfonylurea alone increased the risk of dementia by 12%.

The researchers suggest that combining metformin or TZDs with a sulfonylurea could offset the negative effects of sulfonylurea alone.

Additionally, the research showed that TZDs were more protective in overweight or obese patients.

The team also noted that TZDs were more effective in patients under 75 years old, emphasizing the importance of early prevention for dementia.

The researchers recommended that future studies repurposing diabetes drugs for dementia prevention prioritize TZDs, based on their findings.

These results provide hope that TZDs could be used to treat and prevent dementia in patients with type 2 diabetes.

In conclusion, the study conducted by Xin Tang et al and published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care found that TZDs, an older class of type 2 diabetes drugs, could reduce the risk of developing dementia by 22%.

These findings suggest that diabetes drugs could be repurposed to prevent or treat dementia in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The team recommends prioritizing TZDs in future studies repurposing diabetes drugs for dementia prevention.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that plant-based protein foods may help reverse type 2 diabetes, and how to prevent heart attack in people with diabetes.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that olive oil may help you live longer, and vitamin D could help lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.