A Common Diabetes Drug, Metformin, May Boost Cognition—But Only in Women and Children

Sep 12, 2019 | Brain Cognition, Metformin, Neurology

A Common Diabetes Drug, Metformin, May Boost Cognition—But Only in Women and Children

Metformin has been used by people with type 2 diabetes since the 1950s. But recently, evidence has started to show that it could help the brain repair itself faster from injury as well as stave off the sort of neurological damage that leads to cognitive impairment and dementia.

This new study in mice showscases the importance of having both male and female test subjects in research. As researchers dug deeper into the results, one difference became clear—adult females had the highest positive results. They concluded, after further testing, that estrogen seems to enable the brain-related effects of metformin on brain stem cells in adult females, while testosterone inhibits its activity in adult males.

Study Author

According to study author Cindi Morshead, a stem cell biologist and chair of the Division of Anatomy at the University of Toronto, metformin might do this by encouraging the growth of existing stem cells in the brain. And if that’s true, then metformin could be an invaluable treatment for all sorts of neurological injuries and disorders.

This is just one of many studies proving that men and women deserve complete consideration during clinical research and trials. TrialSite News will continue to cover whether there are ways to ensure that everyone can someday benefit from metformin.

Call to Action: Learn more about the Metformin Trial here.

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