Treating Dementia with diabetes drugs – fact or fiction?

I had the pleasure of  speaking at the 1st Sysmex Asia Pacific Clinical Symposium on an interesting hot topic which is the link between diabetes mellitus and dementia.

Most people are familiar with the link between diabetes and retinopathy “diabetes eye problem” which can lead to blindness; and nephropathy “diabetes kidney problem” which can lead to dialysis and also the link between diabetes and ischemic heart disease, heart failure and cardiovascular death… and the list goes on… but what may be less appreciated is the strong association between diabetes and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

In the talk, I had explored the current understanding based on epidemiologic, pre-clinical and clinical studies. There are preliminary positive findings in both animal and human studies with the use of certain diabetes drugs to improve cognitive function in dementia subjects. If proven and replicated in larger clinical trials, this certainly holds promise for a cure for a devastating disease that robs patients of their memory and executive function and in worse cases their identity and personality.


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