Did these Scientists Find a Potential Alzheimer’s Treatment by Mistake?

Did these Scientists Find a Potential Alzheimer’s Treatment by Mistake?

From the microwave to the Slinky, some of the world’s greatest inventions & innovations happened by accident.

Now, we can add another great mistake to the list: a new potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers from Lancaster University were analyzing a new medication – a triple receptor drug – that was originally created to manage and treat type 2 diabetes, when they realized it may ‘significantly reverse memory loss’ as well.

The drug had only been tested on mice to that point, and after consuming it, the test mice displayed improved learning and memory formation in a maze test. Scientists also pointed out a decrease in inflammation and amyloid plaques in the brain, both of which have been linked to Alzheimer’s, and a slower rate of nerve cell loss.


Lead researcher Professor Christian Holscher said in a press release that this treatment “holds clear promise of being developed into a new treatment for chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

Past research has long hinted at type 2 diabetes being a risk factor for Alzheimer’s, due to its damage to blood vessels, and reduction or blockage of blood flow to the brain. Plus, insulin desensitization can result from both conditions.

Related: Human ‘Mini Brains’ Grown in Labs to Help Research Cancer, Autism, and Alzheimer’s

“With no new treatments in nearly 15 years, we need to find new ways of tackling Alzheimer’s,’ Dr. Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society, said in a press release.

“This approach to research could make it much quicker to get promising new drugs to the people who need them.”

We know what you’re thinking: a drug that can treat two of the world’s most common diseases? Sounds like a miracle more than medicine. And while this accidental discovery may not result in a long-term treatment, there’s at least progress, and something to build on for the next wave of research.

Until then, be sure to practice those everyday habits that reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s!

Photo Credit: sfam_photo/Shutterstock.com; Atthapon Raksthaput/Shutterstock.com

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