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Study claims Ozempic & Wegovy may reduce risk of dementia

Beijing, Oct 24 (IANS) Popular weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy may help reduce the risk of dementia, claims new research in mice, amid studies that show the drugs raises odds of suicidal thoughts and stomach paralysis.

Previous studies showed that the medications known as GLP-1 agonists made by Danish pharma giant Novo Nordisk improved the cognitive behaviour and pathological features in Alzheimer’s disease patients and animals. This may be related to the improvement of glucose metabolism in the brain. However, their mechanisms have not been clear.

To explore, a team from Shanxi Medical University, prescribed semaglutide, the active ingredient in the drugs, to mice with mutations associated with Alzheimer’s.

The results showed that semaglutide, besides improving glucose metabolism in the brain, led to an improvement in learning and memory. It also decreased in amyloid beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles — hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

“The study revealed that semaglutide reduces pathology of Alzheimer’s disease animals such as memory impairment,” the researchers said in the paper published in the journal Neuropharmacology.

Even as semaglutide is currently in phase III clinical trials in Alzheimer’s patients, the study “adds important information of how the drug protects neurons in the brain”, the researchers noted.

In the study, the researchers injected mice with semaglutide every other day for 30 days, and then had their memories tested using a range of experiments.

The results were compared to control groups of mice with Alzehimer’s mutations who were not given semaglutide, as well as mice with no Alzheimer’s mutations.

Brain scans were used to measure the amount of amyloid beta plaques and tau tangles in the rodents’ hippocampi. The study found that mice treated with semaglutide demonstrated “improved cognition”.

Past research has indicated GLP-1s can reduce amyloid and tau on the brain — two proteins connected to dementia. UK-based University of Oxford is conducting phase 1 and 2 trial to see if GLP-1s can minimise the risk of dementia.

The US FDA-approved GLP-1 drugs currently have two indications: weight loss or Type 2 diabetes. Because they lower “food noise,” or thoughts about eating, the same result could be applied to satiety with alcohol and drugs.

However, a recent research, published in JAMA, showed that the medications — which includes brands like Wegovy, Ozempic, Rybelsus and Saxenda — are associated with an increased risk of serious medical conditions including stomach paralysis, pancreatitis and bowel obstruction. It has also shown to increase the risk of suicide.



Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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