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Aberdeen breakthrough in type 2 diabetes treatment

Friday July 21st 2017 at 12:00 PM


Scientists at the University of Aberdeen have made a major breakthrough in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

It follows research into obesity drug lorcaserin, which modifies brain activity to regulate appetite and help with weight loss.

Working with teams from the universities of Cambridge and Michigan, they have now found that the way it reacts with neurones in the brain makes it easier for the body to regulate blood glucose levels and, therefore, diabetes symptoms.

Professor Lora Heisler from the university’s Rowett Institute, is leading the Aberdeen team.

She said: “Current medications for type 2 diabetes improve symptoms of this disease by acting in the body.

“We have discovered that this obesity drug, lorcaserin, acts in the brain to improve type 2 diabetes.

“Lorcaserin targets important brain hormones called pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) peptides, which are responsible for regulating appetite.

“So as well as sending messages telling us we are full and no longer need to eat, leading to weight loss, the POMC hormones also activate a different brain circuit that helps keep our blood glucose in check.

“This discovery is important because type 2 diabetes is an incredibly prevalent disease in the modern world and new treatment choices are needed.”

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