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Antidiabetic agents as a novel treatment for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease

Nowell, Joseph, Blunt, Eleanor, Gupta, Dhruv and Edison, Paul 2023. Antidiabetic agents as a novel treatment for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Ageing Research Reviews 89 , 101979. 10.1016/j.arr.2023.101979

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Therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative disorders have commonly targeted individual aspects of the disease pathogenesis to little success. Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), are characterized by several pathological features. In AD and PD, there is an abnormal accumulation of toxic proteins, increased inflammation, decreased synaptic function, neuronal loss, increased astrocyte activation, and perhaps a state of insulin resistance. Epidemiological evidence has revealed a link between AD/PD and type 2 diabetes mellitus, with these disorders sharing some pathological commonalities. Such a link has opened up a promising avenue for repurposing antidiabetic agents in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. A successful therapeutic strategy for AD/PD would likely require a single or several agents which target the separate pathological processes in the disease. Targeting cerebral insulin signalling produces numerous neuroprotective effects in preclinical AD/PD brain models. Clinical trials have shown the promise of approved diabetic compounds in improving motor symptoms of PD and preventing neurodegenerative decline, with numerous further phase II trials and phase III trials underway in AD and PD populations. Alongside insulin signalling, targeting incretin receptors in the brain represents one of the most promising strategies for repurposing currently available agents for the treatment of AD/PD. Most notably, glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists have displayed impressive clinical potential in preclinical and early clinical studies. In AD the GLP-1 receptor agonist, liraglutide, has been demonstrated to improve cerebral glucose metabolism and functional connectivity in small-scale pilot trials. Whilst in PD, the GLP-1 receptor agonist exenatide is effective in restoring motor function and cognition. Targeting brain incretin receptors reduces inflammation, inhibits apoptosis, prevents toxic protein aggregation, enhances long-term potentiation and autophagy as well as restores dysfunctional insulin signalling. Support is also increasing for the use of additional approved diabetic treatments, including intranasal insulin, metformin hydrochloride, peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptor γ agonists, amylin analogs, and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B inhibitors which are in the investigation for deployment in PD and AD treatment. As such, we provide a comprehensive review of several promising anti-diabetic agents for the treatment of AD and PD.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1568-1637
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 March 2024
Date of Acceptance: 7 June 2023
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024 14:36

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