Liraglutide May Prevent Dementia in Elderly With Type 2 Diabetes

Elderly couple taking medicine
Elderly couple taking medicine
Investigators examined the efficacy of liraglutide for the prevention of dementia in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes.
The following article is part of conference coverage from the American Diabetes Association’s 78th Scientific Sessions (ADA 2018) in Orlando,Florida. Endocrinology Advisor’s staff will report on medical research and technological advances in diabetes and diabetes education, conducted by experts in the field. Check back for the latest news from ADA 2018.

ORLANDO — Liraglutide has shown efficacy in improving lipid profile, glycemic control, and visceral obesity in individuals who are elderly and have type 2 diabetes, according to a study presented at the 78th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, held June 22-26, 2018, in Orlando, Florida. The additional lack of deterioration in arteriosclerosis and hippocampal atrophy suggests a potential role in preventing dementia.

This study included 34 individuals at least 65 years of age (mean 75.7±7.8 years), for whom previous antidiabetic treatment had achieved glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) of at least 7.0% (mean 7.5±0.38%).

Individuals received liraglutide 0.3 mg each morning before eating during the first week, 0.6 mg beginning the second week, then 0.9 mg during and after the third week. A control group consisted of 10 individuals treated with linagliptin who matched in age, HbA1c, Voxel-based Specific Regional Analysis System for Alzheimer’s Disease (VSRAD), and visceral fat. 

After the 3-year follow-up, VSRAD showed no change in the liraglutide group, but the control group showed marked decline (1.22±0.73 to 1.19±0.73 vs 1.36±0.87 to 1.53±0.99; P=.022). The liraglutide group showed improvement in Max-IMT (2.42±1.65 to 2.14±1.40; P=.035; vs 2.25±1.19 to 2.19±1.01) and reduction of visceral fat (137.1±54.0 to 128.0±59.3; P<.01; vs 114.3±55.8 to 116.5±66.2). Both groups showed significant improvements in HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose (P<.01). Only liraglutide group’s lipid profile improved (triglycerides: 162±53 to 145±34; P<.01; vs 185±45 to 159±48 mg/dL). There were no serious incidents of hypoglycemia observed, and no cases of onset dementia.

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There were 8 men and 26 women in this study. During the follow-up period, the study researchers recorded and compared pre- and post-treatment VSRAD via magnetic resonance imaging, area of visceral fat, fasting plasma glucose, serum high-density lipoprotein/low-density lipoprotein level, triglycerides, max-IMT, and HbA1c. 

The study researchers conclude that “[liraglutide] improved the glycemic control, lipid profile, and visceral obesity of elderly patients with [type 2 diabetes] for 3 years. In addition, the hippocampal atrophy and arteriosclerosis were not deteriorated, suggesting the possibility of being effective for prevention of dementia.”

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Yoshida M, Morimoto T, Oh E, et al. Possibility of liraglutide for prevention of dementia progression in patients with type 2 diabetes. Poster presentation at: ADA 2018 78th Scientific Sessions; June 22-26, 2018; Orlando, FL. Poster 1110.