Beneficial Effects of Metformin on the Central Nervous System, with a Focus on Epilepsy and Lafora Disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 19;22(10):5351. doi: 10.3390/ijms22105351.


Metformin is a drug in the family of biguanide compounds that is widely used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Interestingly, the therapeutic potential of metformin expands its prescribed use as an anti-diabetic drug. In this sense, it has been described that metformin administration has beneficial effects on different neurological conditions. In this work, we review the beneficial effects of this drug as a neuroprotective agent in different neurological diseases, with a special focus on epileptic disorders and Lafora disease, a particular type of progressive myoclonus epilepsy. In addition, we review the different proposed mechanisms of action of metformin to understand its function at the neurological level.

Keywords: AMPK; GPD2; Lafora disease; epilepsy; mechanism of action; metformin; neurological disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Lafora Disease / drug therapy
  • Metformin / metabolism
  • Metformin / pharmacology
  • Metformin / therapeutic use*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Metformin