Cocktail of cheap drugs can prevent Alzheimer’s?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

LONDON - A low-cost diabetes drug taken with a red wine ‘miracle pill’ could prevent millions from suffering the agony of Alzheimer’s, suggests new research.

The two-in-one cocktail could keep the brain healthy into old age, stopping dementia in some cases and halting it in others.

With the pills already credited with a host of health-boosting qualities, including potentially extending life, the Dundee University breakthrough brings hope of a brighter future for millions, reports the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The latest breakthrough centres on drugs called metformin and resveratrol, according to the Daily Mail.

Metformin has been safely used for more than 50 years to control blood sugar levels in age and obesity-related diabetes. Recent research suggests it has other benefits, including the ability to extend life.

Resveratrol, the ‘miracle ingredient’ behind many of red wine’s health-boosting qualities, has also been hailed as an elixir of life, with experiments crediting it with warding off a host of ills, from old age to cancer.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect more than 800,000 Britons alone, with the number expected to double in a generation as the population ages.

The Dundee researchers showed that metformin interferes with the formation of toxic ‘tangles’ of a protein called tau that clog the brain in Alzheimer’s, leading to the destruction of memory cells.

Resveratrol has a similar protective effect and taken together, the two could have the power to hold Alzheimer’s at bay, researchers believe.

Filed under: Metformin, World

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