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Diabetes drug may help to regenerate brain cells

The Canadian study shows that the drug metformin, commonly used to target a specific pathway in liver cells for the treatment of diabetes, was able to divide cells and create new ones.

brain on displayEnlarge
A new study shows that a diabetes drug helps to regrow brain cells in humans. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Researchers have found a common diabetes drug able to regenerate brain cells.

The Canadian study shows that the drug metformin, commonly used to target a specific pathway in liver cells for the treatment of diabetes, was able to divide cells and create new ones in the brain.

Medical Daily reported that those mice treated with metofrmin formed new memories faster than the others, suggesting brain cell creation.

They also found that the drug nearly doubled the number of new neurons produced by stem cells compared to what had occured in the brains of the control mice.

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The new research could help to repair the effects of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, said MyHealthNewsDaily.

“If you could take stem cells that normally reside in our brains and somehow use drugs to recruit them into becoming appropriate neural cell types, then you may be able to promote repair and recovery in at least some of the many brain disorders and injuries for which we currently have no treatment,” said lead author Freda Miller of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, according to the Canadian Press.

The findings occured in mice and researchers say they plan to start clinical trials in the near future.

The study was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120706/diabetes-drug-may-help-regenerate-brain-cells