Alzheimer’s can be considered as Diabetes of the brain !
The research group, led by Dr. Moriguchi and Professor Kohji Fukunaga concluded that Alzheimer’s disease can be described as a diabetic disorder of the brain.
Memantine, a drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, is known to inhibit the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors that prevent excessive glutamate transmission in the brain. Researchers have found memantine also inhibits ATP-sensitive potassium channel (Kir6.2 channel), so improving insulin signal dysfunction in the brain.
In experiments with mice, the researchers found that memantine treatment improved impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and memory-related behaviors in the mice through the inhibition of KATP channel Kir6.2.
“Since KATP channels Kir6.1 or Kir6.2 are critical components of sulfonylurea receptors (SURs) which is downstream insulin receptor signaling, the KATP channel inhibition by Memantine mediates the anti-diabetic drug action in peripheral tissues,”
says Dr. Moriguchi.
“And this leads to improved cognitive functions and improved memory retention among Alzheimer’s patients.”
Researchers now hope their results and parallels drawn with diabetes, will lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, using the inhibition of Kir6.2 channel.