Diabetes drug can repair brain damage and make new cells grow - but it only ...

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() Diabetes drug can repair brain damage in mice and make new cells grow - but it may only work in WOMEN because it's boosted by a female sex hormone Metformin is a drug that helps those with type 2 diabetes control blood sugar Studies have shown that it encourages the growth of new neurons in the brain and improves learning and memory skills Researchers induced strokes in mice and then gave them daily injections of metformin The drug activated neural stem cells in the brain but only in adult female mice The female sex hormone estradiol boosts the ability of stem cells to respond to metformin while the male sex hormone testosterone impedes this ability

By Mary Kekatos Health Reporter For Dailymail.com

Published: 19:00 BST, 11 September 2019 | Updated: 19:00 BST, 11 September 2019

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A diabetes drug may be able to repair brain damage - but only in women, a shocking new study finds.

In research conducted on mice, scientists found that metformin, used to treat type 2 diabetes, activates stem cells in the brain, which self-renew and improve cognitive impairment.

Researchers discovered that this only worked in female mice because the sex hormone estradiol boosted the ability of stem cells to respond to metformin.

However, the male sex hormone testosterone inhibited it.

The team, from the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, says this could be a game changer in treating brain injuries and damage from strokes, cerebral palsy - and maybe even Alzheimer's disease.

A new study, from the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, has found that the female sex hormone estradiol amplifies the effect that the drug metformin has on brain stem cells (file image)

A new study, from the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, has found that the female sex hormone estradiol amplifies the effect that the drug metformin has on brain stem cells (file image)

The new research, published in the journal Science Advances, builds upon a 2012 study that was investigating treatment for childhood brain damage. 

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