After Weight Loss, Diabetes Drug Found To Lower Dementia Risk

Diabetes drugs have been making headlines lately for their weight-loss benefits. Demand has soared, and diabetics are finding it hard to get refills. Now, another diabetes drug has been found to cut the risk of dementia in half.

The drug pioglitazone (Actos) helps reduce the risk of dementia in people with type 2 diabetes who take the drug to regulate blood sugar, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology. This effect was even more pronounced in patients who had suffered a stroke or ischemic heart disease.

The researchers behind the study said previous studies had documented the protective effects of pioglitazone in people with diabetes. Some studies also show how the drug reduces the risk of primary and recurrent strokes. So they sought to determine whether the drug's potential to reduce stroke risk also reduced dementia risk.

Using data from type 2 diabetes (DM) patients from the Korean National Health Insurance Service DM cohort (2002-2017), the team investigated the relationship between pioglitazone use and the incidence of dementia in patients with diabetes. They examined the extent to which stroke events contributed to the relationship between medications and dementia using a multi-state model.

After analyzing the data, the scientists found that pioglitazone reduced the risk of dementia in diabetic patients compared with patients who did not use the drug. The risk reduction was much higher in patients with a history of stroke or ischemic heart disease before the onset of diabetes.

Past studies have found that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop dementia compared with those without diabetes, reports Everyday Health.

However, the team found that this benefit only existed in people with diabetes who had had a stroke in the past. Those who had a stroke while using pioglitazone did not experience the same reduced risk of dementia.

“The use of pioglitazone reduced the risk of dementia in patients with DM, especially those with a history of stroke or ischemic heart disease, suggesting that an individualized approach could be used in the selection of pioglitazone to suppress dementia in patients with DM,” they concluded.

Study author Eosu Kim, MD, Yonsei University, South Korea, said their findings suggest that the diabetes drug pioglitazone could provide a means of early intervention, as dementia takes years to develop before diagnosis.

“These results may suggest that we can use a personalized approach to prevent dementia in people with diabetes if they have a history of ischemic heart disease or stroke,” Kim said in a release.

The news comes at a time when many people trying to lose weight have suddenly become interested in diabetes drugs. The trend started with Ozempic, a diabetes drug used by celebrities to lose weight quickly. The weight loss benefits of Ozempic and similar drugs have been trending on social media for months as more and more people share the guaranteed results of significant weight loss.

The soaring popularity of Ozempic and other diabetes drugs has led to shortages in supplies for people with diabetes — people who need the drugs to manage their health condition.

diabetes Diabetes is a challenge for many Americans Tumisu/Pixel Bay

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