Medicine for Diabetes Can Lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s, Study Says

September 25, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. pill /pɪl/ (n.) – a small solid medicine, usually round and cylindrical
Example: Ann took some pain-relieving pills.

2. generic /dʒəˈnɛr ɪk/ (adj.) – referring to a product, usually medicine, with no brand name
ExampleGeneric drugs are cheaper than commercial brands.

3. diagnose /ˈdaɪ əgˌnoʊs/ (v.) – to identify something, usually a disease, based on tests
Example: She was diagnosed with diabetes.

4. initiate /ɪˈnɪʃ iˌeɪt/ (v.) – to start something
Example: Officials initiated the investigation on the recent epidemic.

5. deter /dɪˈtɜr/ (v.) – to prevent something from happening
Example: He placed a bandage on the wound to deter infection.


Read the text below.
A German study concludes that a medicine for diabetic patients can also be beneficial for patients with Alzheimer’s [AHLTS-hahy-merz] disease.

The pill called “pioglitazone” [pyoh-GLI-ta-zohn] is a generic medicine used to treat type-2 diabetes. Past studies revealed that people who took this pill had very low risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or any decline in memory and other thinking skills.

To further examine the previous findings, German researchers analyzed 2004-2010 German healthcare data of about 146,000 patients who were at least 60 years old. These patients initially did not show signs of dementia.

Researchers found that 13,841 of the patients were later diagnosed with dementia. The analysis also showed that the subjects who had pioglitazone medication were less likely to develop the ailment. Anne Fink, one of the researchers, claimed that long-term intake of pioglitazone reduces the risk of having dementia.

Previously, some studies have linked type-2 diabetes with dementia. Past researches suggested that poor blood sugar control can lead to mental decline. Furthermore, diabetics taking medication for type-2 diabetes were found to have 20 percent less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those who had insulin shots.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the maker of a pioglitazone brand called Actos, initiated its own study to investigate the relationship between low doses of pioglitazone and the risk of having Alzheimer’s disease. Takeda began its five-year experiment in 2013 to determine if pioglitazone can deter mental decline caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The research includes participants who have high risk of developing dementia.

Takeda revealed that around 18 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s and that the disease usually occurs between ages 65 and 85.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think people without diabetes but have family history of Alzheimer’s disease should take pioglitazone? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think many people today develop diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease? Kindly explain.

Discussion B

·         How do you think people can avoid developing diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s?
·         What do you think can happen to people with declining mental ability and memory? Kindly discuss.

September 25, 2014