University of Kansas and AstraZeneca Team Up to Study Link Between Diabetes & AD

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The University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center (KU ADC) and AstraZeneca have partnered to conduct a study to attempt to answer the weather influencing the body’s metabolism can improve the brain’s energy and how well it functions. In this new AstraZeneca-funded clinical trial, KU ADC will test Dapagliflozin, a drug used to treat diabetes, on Alzheimer’s disease patients.

The Study

A single-site study designed by KU ADC, and funded by AstraZeneca (maker of Dapagliflozin) will test the effects of 10 mg of the drug taken daily for 12 weeks on the brain’s energy levels and cognitive function for those struggling with Alzheimer’s disease reports KSAL in Kansas. The study represents a novel approach as the site and sponsor will test the use of Dapagliflozin in people who do not have diabetes in a study seeking to determine if it can improve brain health.

The sponsor and investigator hope to find out if the drug (Dapagliflozin) improves the brain’s metabolism. From a broader perspective, KU ADC investigators think shifting the body’s metabolism may translate into positive effects on the brain. The DAPA study represents an early stage in assessing this hypothesis.

What is Dapagliflozin?

Approved by the U.S. FDA for type 2 diabetes but not for Alzheimer’s disease, nor has it been tested as a therapy for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Context

Researchers have uncovered a link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. But KSAL reports experts in the field have little understanding as to why. Some studies reveal that the brains of individuals struggling with Alzheimer’s disease may struggle using glucose. Some have theorized that Alzheimer’s disease may be another form of diabetes that impacts the brain—e.g., type 3 diabetes.

Lead Research/Investigator

Jeffrey M. Burns, M.D., M.S., co-director of the KU ADC and Edward H. Hashinger Professor of Medicine in the Department of Neurology at the University of Kansas Medical CenterCall to Action: Are you interested in this study? Contact the DAPA study or other KU ADC clinical research trials at 913-588-0555, extension one, or visit the KU ADC website.


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