Psych Congress

Psych Congress

October 21, 2016
1 min read

Liraglutide improves cognition in adults with mood disorders

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SAN ANTONIO — Pilot data from an ongoing clinical trial on a repurposed GLP-1 receptor antagonist has been found to recalibrate the circuits subserving cognition in mood disorders, according a researcher who presented here at U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress.

“We gave non-diabetics Victoza and we found that in depression and bipolar disorder it improved their cognitive functions — executive functions — attention, memory, processing speed. And yes, it improved their mood,” Roger S. McIntyre, MD, FRCPC, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto, said.

The study was a 4-week, open-label study of 19 patients who had major depressive disorder or biopolar disorder and an impairment in executive function as tested by the Trail Making Test-B. Patients were given 1.8 mg daily of Victoza (liraglutide, Novo Nordisk) in addition to their existing pharmacotherapy.

McIntyre noted that in addition to improving a patient’s cognition, “it improved the ratio of 2 molecules that are really interesting to us now — NAA/Cr — a marker of break up. And the ratio is going up in the brain region that we were trying to target. So, we have what’s called ‘target engagement.’”

“We improved our patient’s cognitive function with a drug that was repurposed from the world of diabetes based on the model that this is critical to what is happening in the human brain,” he said.

Larger studies will be conducted to confirm these results. – by Joan-Marie Stiglich, ELS


McIntyre RS. Understanding disease models and treatment opportunities: Lessons from metabolism and inflammation. Presented at: U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress; Oct. 21-24, 2016; San Antonio.

Mansur, Rodrigo B et al. Liraglutide promotes improvements in objective measures of cognitive dysfunction in individuals with mood disorders: A pilot, open-label study. Journal of Affective Disorders. [Published e-ahead of print Oct. 1, 2016.]

Disclosure: McIntyre reports serving as a consultant for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Lilly, Lundbeck, Merck & Co., Organon Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and Shire.