A new study found a link between this common medication and risk of developing dementia.
A new study published this week revealed some new uses for a seasoned drug. The research found that a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes might be helpful in preventing dementia in people who are at a higher risk for developing it in the future.
Researchers behind the study, published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, theorized that since type 2 diabetes was a contributor to dementia, that the drugs used to treat it could also impact a person’s risk of developing dementia.
Researchers selected medication known as TZDs, one that hasn’t been all that studied when applied to dementia. They analyzed the medical records of a vast pool of subjects, all of them over the age of 60, with having type 2 diabetes. The subjects were all free of dementia when the study started. Then, researchers compared people’s symptoms over a period of seven years, separating them into groups: those who took TZDs and patients who took other leading medications of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers concluded that participants taking TZDs were 22% less likely to be diagnosed with any form of dementia. They also found that this group was less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, a condition that falls under the spectrum of dementia, and that affects over 6 million people in the country.
While the study is promising and suggests a novel way of preventing and treating dementia, the results don’t imply cause and effect. Then there are the side effects of TZDs, which are murky. The evidence isn’t definitive, but there’s a link between these medications and a higher risk of developing heart disease, which is why the medication isn’t prescribed as a first choice for people who are at a higher risk of cardiovascular conditions.
Per the CDC, dementia is a term that envelops different symptoms referring to people’s impaired thought processes. It impacts their way of thinking, making decisions, and more, all in varying degrees and with an impact on their daily lives. Conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and more are all considered a type of dementia.