Drug originally for Alzheimer’s shows promise in reducing obesity

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Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine have discovered that a drug initially developed for Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and sickle cell disease might have the potential to treat severe obesity.

This comes as a significant development, especially considering that more than 40% of people in the U.S. are obese, with 43% of American women over 60 being classified as such. Severe obesity is a global health issue that heightens the risk of numerous other diseases.

This study builds on previous research from 2015 by the same team, which found that the enzyme PDE9 is present in the heart and contributes to heart disease caused by high blood pressure. PDE9 is related to another protein, PDE5, which is targeted by drugs like Viagra.

While inhibitors of PDE9 are still experimental and don’t have a commercial drug name yet, they have been developed and tested for other diseases like Alzheimer’s and sickle cell.

The researchers used a PDE9 inhibitor made by Pfizer Inc. (PF-04447943) in their mouse study. This particular inhibitor was initially tested for Alzheimer’s disease but was eventually not pursued for that purpose.

However, it showed good tolerance and no serious adverse side effects in over 100 people across two clinical trials. A different PDE9 inhibitor is currently being tested for human heart failure.

The study focused on whether inhibiting PDE9 could improve conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, and excess body fat, especially around the waist.

The results were promising: mice treated with the PDE9 inhibitor showed reduced obesity and fatty liver and improved heart function without changes in their food intake or daily activity levels.

The implications of this study are vast. If these findings in mice are applicable to humans, it could mean significant weight loss for severely obese individuals without needing to alter eating or exercise habits.

For instance, a person weighing 250 pounds could potentially lose about 50 pounds with an oral PDE9 inhibitor.

In addition to this research, there are other studies of interest for those concerned about health. For instance, research has shown that hop extract could reduce belly fat in overweight people, and early time-restricted eating might aid in weight loss and improve blood pressure.

For those interested in liver health, recent studies have pointed to new therapies for fatty liver disease and the benefits of oats and rye brans for gut and liver health.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the research led by David Kass and his team could pave the way for a revolutionary approach to treating severe obesity, potentially transforming the lives of millions of people worldwide.Top of FormBottom of Form

If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about the likely cause of Alzheimer’s disease , and new non-drug treatment that could help prevent Alzheimer’s.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about diet that may help prevent Alzheimer’s, and results showing some dementia cases could be prevented by changing these 12 things.

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