The diabetes drug metformin encourages new neuron growth in the brain and enhances memory in mice, according to a new study by University of Toronto investigators and their collaborators (Wang J et al. Cell Stem Cell. 2012;11:23-35).
The group's previous work revealed that the atypical protein kinase C–CBP pathway directs neural stem cells to differentiate into mature neurons. Others had found that the same pathway is important in liver cells for the metabolic effects of the drug metformin.
Hampton T. Metformin Benefits the Brain. JAMA. 2012;308(9):853. doi:10.1001/2012.jama.10598