Neuroprotective Actions of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Analogues in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases

CNS Drugs. 2019 Mar;33(3):209-223. doi: 10.1007/s40263-018-0593-6.


The current absence of effective treatments for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) reflects an incomplete knowledge of the underlying disease processes. Considerable efforts have been made to investigate the central pathological features of these diseases, giving rise to numerous attempts to develop compounds that interfere with such features. However, further characterization of the molecular targets within the interconnected AD and PD pathways is still required. Impaired brain insulin signaling has emerged as a feature that contributes to neuronal dysfunction in both AD and PD, leading to strategies aiming at restoring this pathway in the brain. Long-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogues marketed for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus have been tested and have shown encouraging protective actions in experimental models of AD and PD as well as in initial clinical trials. We review studies revealing the neuroprotective actions of GLP-1 analogues in pre-clinical models of AD and PD and promising results from recent clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / analogs & derivatives*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1