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A systematic literature review of the effect of insulin sensitizers on the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease in transgenic mice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Amy Craig, Faisal Parvez, Jon Issberner

School/Research organisations


Clinical implication

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) presents as a gradual decline in cognitive function, with its characteristic pathology consisting of Amyloid β (Aβ) accumulation and hyperphosphorylated tau. Impaired insulin signalling was recently found in the brain in AD, and shown to increase AD pathology. Similar insulin resistance is found in type 2 diabetes and is currently treated with insulin sensitizers (IS).

Aims and method

The aim of this literature review was to evaluate whether IS could effectively reduce AD’s characteristic pathology and symptoms in models of AD in transgenic mice. The efficacy of an IS (Metformin, Rosiglitazone or Pioglitazone) at improving each characteristic in transgenic mice was evaluated.


A variety of cognitive tests and measures of pathology were utilized to assess these outcomes, hindering comparison. Improvements in cognition, learning and Aβ pathology were demonstrated by some papers, and all papers reported a decrease in tau phosphorylation, but no effect on total tau levels.



Original languageEnglish
Article number112015
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Early online date27 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2019

    Research areas

  • Insulin sensitizer, Metformin, Thiazolidinediones, Alzheimer’s disease

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