Dementia is one of the conditions that render the hope of a long and
healthy lifespan elusive for many people. Estimates suggest that as
many as 20% of people over the age 65 suffer from cognitive
impairment1, which is defined as the early prodromal stage
of dementia. Of these, around one-third develop dementia within 5
years2. Dementia is often due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD),
which affects more than 50 million people globally3, 4.
There is a well-known link between dementia, including AD, and type
2 diabetes (T2D) as a factor that markedly increases the risk of
developing dementia5. Given this association, Novo Nordisk
- as a company devoted to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic
diseases - has recently begun exploring whether glucagon-like
peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists (RAs) may be beneficial as a novel
treatment option in Alzheimer’s disease. All approved GLP-1 RAs are
currently used to improve glycaemic control in T2D, and some are also
used for weight management.
Hitherto, therapeutic options in AD have been very sparse and
management of the disease has focused on symptomatic relief. Further
complicating matters, there remains a profound lack of efficient
diagnostic and prognostic modalities, severely challenging the
possibility of timely intervention to stop the progressive
neurodegeneration characterising AD.
Below, we introduce a recent article that details data
analyses to assess how treatment with liraglutide and
semaglutide impact the risk of dementia in people with
T2D. These results and other evidence led to the initiation of the
ongoing evoke and evoke+ phase 3 trials in AD, which are also introduced.