In research published in Genetic Engineering and Biology News.A drug developed for diabetes could be used to treat Alzheimer's after scientists found it "significantly reversed memory loss" in mice through a triple method of action. 

David Schaffer from the College of Community and Public Affairs at Binghamton University, State University of New York responds:

"While interesting, this is one of a quite-large list of studies where a drug seems to work well in a mouse model of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Wild type mice do not get AD. We have to splice into their genomes the human amyloid precursor protein, and sometimes other genes, so they get AD. The result is that a drug that works in such mice often does not have the same effects in humans.

"That’s no reason not to use these mice in the search for novel treatments. This study seems to have adopted a quite novel diabetes drug, and the effects look quite strong. Even neurogenesis seems to have been improved along with the memory behaviors and several biochemical effects, all pointing in the right direction.

"But it's clearly too soon to get very excited. Much additional work remains to be done, eventually leading to clinical trials in humans. All this will take time, and as we've seen so many times before, many things can go wrong.

"Still, it looks like it may be promising. We'll have to wait for the painstaking research work to be done.

"Fortunately, funding for AD research has been increasing as of late and many promising avenues are being pursued. We all hope for a breakthrough soon.

"Our own work is attempting to look at the very earliest stages of the AD pathological cascade. We are hoping that if the very first stages can be identified, then modest interventions may go a long way towards prevention of the devastating effects of AD. You know the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."