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Reviews in the Neurosciences

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Volume 27, Issue 7


Incretin-based therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus is promising for treating neurodegenerative diseases

Yanwei Li
  • Key Laboratory of Cellular Physiology, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030001, P.R. China
  • Department of Human Anatomy, Shaoyang Medical College, Shaoyang, Hunan 422000, P.R. China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Lin Li
  • Corresponding author
  • Key Laboratory of Cellular Physiology, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030001, P.R. China
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Christian Hölscher
  • Biomedical and Life Science, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Second Hospital, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030001, P.R. China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2016-06-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/revneuro-2016-0018


Incretin hormones include glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). Due to their promising action on insulinotropic secretion and improving insulin resistance (IR), incretin-based therapies have become a new class of antidiabetic agents for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Recently, the links between neurodegenerative diseases and T2DM have been identified in a number of studies, which suggested that shared mechanisms, such as insulin dysregulation or IR, may underlie these conditions. Therefore, the effects of incretins in neurodegenerative diseases have been extensively investigated. Protease-resistant long-lasting GLP-1 mimetics such as lixisenatide, liraglutide, and exenatide not only have demonstrated promising effects for treating neurodegenerative diseases in preclinical studies but also have shown first positive results in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients in clinical trials. Furthermore, the effects of other related incretin-based therapies such as GIP agonists, dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) inhibitors, oxyntomodulin (OXM), dual GLP-1/GIP, and triple GLP-1/GIP/glucagon receptor agonists on neurodegenerative diseases have been tested in preclinical studies. Incretin-based therapies are a promising approach for treating neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; DPP-IV inhibitors; glucagon-like peptide-1; glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide; incretin; insulin resistance; Parkinson’s disease; type 2 diabetes mellitus


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About the article

Received: 2016-04-11

Accepted: 2016-05-02

Published Online: 2016-06-08

Published in Print: 2016-10-01

Citation Information: Reviews in the Neurosciences, Volume 27, Issue 7, Pages 689–711, ISSN (Online) 2191-0200, ISSN (Print) 0334-1763, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/revneuro-2016-0018.

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Practical Diabetes, 2017, Volume 34, Number 6, Page 187

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