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IPFS News Link • Drugs and Medications

GLP-1 weight-loss drugs may pivot to treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

•, By Bronwyn Thompson

Inflammation, which is highly prevalent in those with chronic metabolic diseases, is one of the hallmarks of both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

"One of the really interesting things about the GLP-1 drugs is that beyond the control of blood sugar and body weight, they also seem to reduce the complications of chronic metabolic disease," said study co-author Daniel Drucker, a professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto. "We know from clinical studies that GLP-1 does all this amazing stuff in people, but we don't fully know how it works."

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists have become the most talked-about medical-science development since mRNA vaccines. Semaglutide and tirzepatide, known under brand names such as Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro, were first used to effectively treat type 2 diabetes, but have since found fame as a new, highly touted class of weight-loss medication.

Drucker and team believed that this wasn't the limit of their 'superpowers', and were keenly interested in the relationship between inflammation and GLP-1 drugs. What the researchers found was a new, fascinating and potentially life-changing interaction with other organs, but particularly the brain.

"The strange thing is that you can't find many GLP-1 receptors in all these other organs where GLP-1 seems to work," said Drucker, whose earlier work opened the door to the development of drugs including Ozempic and Wegovy.

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