Common mental disease drugs may help treat type 2 diabetes

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Background: Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is a significant health concern. Type 2 diabetes, the more common variety, affects millions of people globally.

This condition leads to higher than normal sugar levels in the blood, causing a host of health issues over time, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and eye problems.

Traditional treatments for type 2 diabetes aim to control blood sugar levels, often through medication. The most common of these medications is metformin.

It works by decreasing the amount of sugar your liver produces and improving your body’s response to insulin.

The Problem with Current Treatments

Unfortunately, not all patients can take metformin. It’s estimated that about 15% of individuals with diabetes can’t tolerate this drug due to side effects.

Insulin secretagogues are another group of medicines often prescribed, but they don’t always work effectively, especially for patients in the later stages of diabetes.

This leaves many patients in need of alternative treatments. Therefore, the medical community is on the constant lookout for new methods and therapies to treat diabetes.

A New Potential Treatment from an Unexpected Source

Researchers from the University of Alberta and other institutions have made an exciting discovery. They found that an older class of antipsychotic drugs could potentially be used to treat type 2 diabetes.

Antipsychotic drugs have typically been used to treat mental health conditions, like schizophrenia and severe depression.

These medicines work by altering levels of certain chemicals in the brain, known as neurotransmitters. However, recent research indicates they could also have benefits for diabetes treatment.

The scientists focused on a specific enzyme in the body called succinyl CoA:3-ketoacid CoA transferase (SCOT). This enzyme plays a key role in how the body turns ketones, a type of acid, into energy.

The Role of SCOT and Diphenylbutylpiperidines

Using computer modeling, the team searched for drugs that could interact with SCOT.

They found that an older generation of antipsychotic drugs, known as diphenylbutylpiperidines (DPBP), could be repurposed to treat diabetes.

Pimozide, a specific drug within the DPBP class, showed potential as an anti-diabetic agent. The team discovered that DPBP drugs improved blood sugar control by preventing muscles from using ketones as an energy source.

The scientists believe this inhibition of SCOT is why these antipsychotic drugs could be effective in treating diabetes.

The Benefits of Drug Repurposing

Creating a new drug from scratch is a long, complex, and expensive process. It involves rigorous testing and clinical trials to ensure that the drug is safe and effective.

By repurposing existing drugs for new uses, researchers can potentially fast-track this process, saving both time and money.

What’s Next: Clinical Trials and Beyond

Even though this discovery is promising, it’s not yet a finished solution. Before these antipsychotic drugs can be used to treat diabetes, they must undergo clinical trials.

These trials will confirm whether these drugs are safe and effective for diabetes treatment.

It’s important to remember that antipsychotic drugs can have serious side effects. Therefore, they should only be used under a healthcare professional’s supervision, even when repurposed for a different medical condition.

Despite these hurdles, this innovative approach of repurposing antipsychotic drugs offers a ray of hope for those living with diabetes.

The research could potentially lead to the development of a new class of diabetes treatments, giving patients more options and better outcomes.

The study has been published in the renowned journal Diabetes.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about new way to achieve type 2 diabetes remission, and one avocado a day keeps diabetes at bay.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about Keto diet could help control body weight, blood sugar in type 2 diabetes and results showing that eating eggs in a healthy diet may reduce risks of diabetes, high blood pressure.

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