Diabetes Drug Proves Effective in Treating Anxiety and Depression

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes. As is well known, diabetes increases the risk for many serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness.

What it is less known is that diabetes has been shown to increase the risk of emotional disorders as well. For example, numerous studies have shown that diabetes increases the risk for an anxiety disorder by at least 20%. Diabetes has also been shown to increase an individual’s risk for depression. Although the precise connection between diabetes and mental health disorders has not been firmly established, many scientists feel that insulin resistance leads to a hormonal imbalance in the brain.

With this information in mind, a team of researchers led by Dr. Bruno Guiard, a professor of neuroscience and pharmacology at the University of Toulouse, along with a team of researchers from various French universities, studied the reverse question: What would be the effect on anxiety and depression of taking a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes?

For the purpose of conducting this research, the scientists divided a group of insulin-resistant mice that displayed anxiety-like symptoms, into two groups. The first group was treated with Metformin, a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes. The second group was treated with fluoxetine, a commonly used antidepressant.

The researchers found that the mice taking the diabetes drug metformin displayed decreased anxiety and depression symptoms. In fact, their anxiety and depression symptoms were more effectively reduced than the mice in group taking the antidepressant fluoxetine. The researchers further showed that metformin elevated serotonin levels in the rodent’s brains, which helped to explain its efficacy.

This new treatment for anxiety and depression might provide a new method for treating mental health disorders in general, and anxiety and depression in particular.

At Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, we are always on the lookout for new methods of treatment. Our care programs are designed specifically to meet the unique needs and interests of seniors and long-term care patients. We emphasize restorative care, maximizing each patient’s potential to regain and maintain function and mobility.

We foster an environment that is cheerful and enthusiastic, so residents truly relish and appreciate life.

Our outstanding Social Services team works hard to ensure that every resident thrives socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

We promote a culture of independence, crucial for emotional, social, and physical health. Residents are encouraged to choose their activity and meal preferences, and to perform tasks and activities as self-sufficiently as possible.

We carefully select, train and re-train our wonderful caregivers, who are especially sensitive to the needs of our long-term care patients. They treat residents with love, compassion, and dignity.

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