This months issue of "Life Extension Magazine" carried another article mentioning Metformin on page 48. There was a lot of information this month on Alzheimer's and inflammation. The article entitled "The Role Of Anti-inflammatory Drugs and Metformin" give some statistics on inflammation and Alzheimer's.
Life Extension Magazine page 48, March 2013 edition.
The article indicates that given the impact of inflammation in the Alzheimer's diseased brain that scientists would look for hope in a group of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or (NSAIDs) which include common over the counter drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen, certain prescription drugs such as celecoxib, and aspirin the oldest NSAID in existence.
Apparently NSAIDs work by inhibiting activities of enzymes, cyclooxegenases (or COX) which are involved in the production of inflammatory signaling molecules called prostaglandins. By inhibiting COX activity, the hope is that by reducing inflammatory changes in brain tissues of people with Alzheimer's disease.
IN EARLY STAGES of Alzheimer's there is evidence of a lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease among people who use NSAIDs regularly with greater protection to those who use them over a long period of time. In general terms NSAID users develop Alzheimer's at rate in the range of 40% to 65% of those people not using NASIDs.
Taking NSAIDs in more advance stages of Alzheimer's can actually have the opposite effect and worsen the disease.
What about Metformin?
Metformin, like aspirin, is a well established modern day drug with natural orgins (it is derived from a French lilac bush). Most applications of metformin today deal with diabetes and insulin resistance, which are incredibly relevant topics for Alzheimer researchers. In fact, brain impact of diabetes and insulin resistance is so great that some scientists term Alzheimer's "Type III Diabetes". Studies show that metformin helps the body break down and deactivate proteins that contribute to the neurofibrillary tangles characteristic of neurons affected by Alzheimer's disease. Obese mice with experimental Alzheimer's show fewer biochemical brain changes when treated with Metformin.
Did everyone fully understand that? Good, now I don't feel so bad. I am not a scientist and it is likely that most of you are not either. The thing to remember is that if you have to be on a Type 2 diabetes drug, metformin is not a bad one to be on.