Jul 06, 2012
By Jane Brown
There’s new hope for a potential means to treat brain injuries and even neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Scientists at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children say metformin, a drug commonly used to control Type 2 diabetes, can help trigger stem cells to produce new brain cells.
The research involved lab-dish experiments using both mouse and human brain stem cells, as well as learning and memory tests performed on live mice given the drug.
Lead scientist Dr. Freda Miller says researchers hope to test metformin in people, to see if it can spark new brain cell growth that would promote repair and recovery.
Miller says a small group of patients with brain injuries could begin a study within about a year. The study is published online in the journal Stem Cell.