Skip to comments.Diabetes drug makes brain cells grow (neural stem cells)
Posted on 07/12/2012 5:27:30 PM PDT by neverdem
Public release date: 5-Jul-2012
Contact: Elisabeth (Lisa) Lyons
Diabetes drug makes brain cells grow
The discovery is an important step toward therapies that aim to repair the brain not by introducing new stem cells but rather by spurring those that are already present into action, says the study's lead author Freda Miller of the University of Toronto-affiliated Hospital for Sick Children. The fact that it's a drug that is so widely used and so safe makes the news all that much better.
Earlier work by Miller's team highlighted a pathway known as aPKC-CBP for its essential role in telling neural stem cells where and when to differentiate into mature neurons. As it happened, others had found before them that the same pathway is important for the metabolic effects of the drug metformin, but in liver cells.
"We put two and two together," Miller says. If metformin activates the CBP pathway in the liver, they thought, maybe it could also do that in neural stem cells of the brain to encourage brain repair.
The new evidence lends support to that promising idea in both mouse brains and human cells. Mice taking metformin not only showed an increase in the birth of new neurons, but they were also better able to learn the location of a hidden platform in a standard maze test of spatial learning.
While it remains to be seen whether the very popular diabetes drug might already be serving as a brain booster for those who are now taking it, there are already some early hints that it may have cognitive benefits for people with Alzheimer's disease. It had been thought those improvements were the result of better diabetes control, Miller says, but it now appears that metformin may improve Alzheimer's symptoms by enhancing brain repair.
Miller says they now hope to test whether metformin might help repair the brains of those who have suffered brain injury due to trauma or radiation therapies for cancer.
Wang et al.: "Metformin activates an atypical PKC-CBP pathway to promote neurogenesis and enhance spatial memory formation."
EurekAlert was king enough to enclose the title within quotation marks. All I had to do was copy it incuding those quotation marks. After a Yahoo search, voila!
I should be pretty smart by now...
The critical question here is does this drug require EXISTING brain cells for augmentation? If not, and new brain cells can be spontaneously created as well, THEN, there is promise for liberals and statists.
I wonder if berberine might work the same way?
I take metformin in the morning and insulin at night.
I am going to be a genius, a genius I tell you, a genius!!
In all seriousness, this ‘sounds’ like great news for folks with brain injuries.
me too...and it’s free by me
List of drugs that contain or are related to metformin.
I’ve been taking 2000mg of Metformin per day for three years. Funny, I don’t feel smarter :)
I’ve been taking 3000MG a day for years, and I’m still dumb as a brick. Maybe it requires a few working brain cells to start with.
Metformin has also been shown to reduce cancer rates. Some doctors recommend all adults take it to reduce cancer prospects.
I got smarter, but had to hang out on the john all the time. Now I’m dumb again, but not stuck in that little room.
I’m taking maximum dosages and still have CRS (Can’t remember Sh*t).
FYI, my husband had the same problem with metformin. When he finally got up the nerve to mention it to his dr. he found out there is an extended release form that doesn’t give him any trouble. Alleluia.
Thanks for that info. I also take 5000iu of Vit D3 daily. Been doing that for seven years. It is anecdotal, but I haven’t been sick one day since starting the Vit D.
Thanks for the link!
Thanks you. Interesting information.