The neuroprotective effects of glucagon-like peptide 1 in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease: An in-depth review

Reich, Niklas and Hölscher, Christian (2022) The neuroprotective effects of glucagon-like peptide 1 in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease: An in-depth review. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 16. ISSN 1662-453X

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Currently, there is no disease-modifying treatment available for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (AD and PD) and that includes the highly controversial approval of the Aβ-targeting antibody aducanumab for the treatment of AD. Hence, there is still an unmet need for a neuroprotective drug treatment in both AD and PD. Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for both AD and PD. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is a peptide hormone and growth factor that has shown neuroprotective effects in preclinical studies, and the success of GLP-1 mimetics in phase II clinical trials in AD and PD has raised new hope. GLP-1 mimetics are currently on the market as treatments for type 2 diabetes. GLP-1 analogs are safe, well tolerated, resistant to desensitization and well characterized in the clinic. Herein, we review the existing evidence and illustrate the neuroprotective pathways that are induced following GLP-1R activation in neurons, microglia and astrocytes. The latter include synaptic protection, improvements in cognition, learning and motor function, amyloid pathology-ameliorating properties (Aβ, Tau, and α-synuclein), the suppression of Ca2+ deregulation and ER stress, potent anti-inflammatory effects, the blockage of oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis pathways, enhancements in the neuronal insulin sensitivity and energy metabolism, functional improvements in autophagy and mitophagy, elevated BDNF and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) synthesis as well as neurogenesis. The many beneficial features of GLP-1R and GLP-1/GIPR dual agonists encourage the development of novel drug treatments for AD and PD.

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Journal Article
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Frontiers in Neuroscience
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11 Nov 2022 16:45
Last Modified:
21 Sep 2023 03:19