Like a Trojan horse a new drug that "penetrates the brain" to promote weight loss Like a Trojan horse a new drug that "penetrates the brain" to promote weight loss

Like a Trojan horse a new drug that "penetrates the brain" to promote weight loss

Like a Trojan horse a new drug that "penetrates the brain" to promote weight loss

A team of scientists has revealed a new drug that can "hack the brain", like a "Trojan horse", to double weight loss.

Scientists tested the new experimental drug on mice, claiming that it leads to greater weight loss than drugs currently on the market.

The drug uses a similar technology to Ozempic and Wegovy, which are referred to as “glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists” (GLP-1 RA).

Aside from mimicking the hormone the gut naturally produces after eating to slow digestion and relieve hunger pangs, the drug also works to "smuggle" neuroplastic molecules into the brains of mice to make them more responsive to weight loss.

The research team at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen said that increasing brain flexibility may allow it to better adapt to weight loss.
So, adding neuroplasticity-promoting molecules to GLP-1 drugs could enhance results.

Lead author, Professor Christopher Clemmensen, said: “I consider the drugs on the market today to be the first generation of weight loss drugs. We have now developed a new type of drug that affects brain plasticity and appears to be very effective.”

The researchers used the NMDA receptor agonist MK-801 (a chemical compound that binds to receptors and activates them to produce a biological response), which affects neuroplasticity in the hypothalamus and brainstem, to promote weight loss-friendly changes in the brain.

They explained that GLP-1 hormones can leak through areas of the blood-brain barrier, so they can act as "Trojan horses" that sneak with resilience-promoting molecules into the brain.

“The effect of GLP-1 with these molecules is very powerful,” Clemmensen said. “In some cases, mice lose twice as much weight as those treated with GLP-1 alone.”

The new drug could serve as an alternative for people who do not respond well to existing weight-loss medications.

"Since the drug is so effective, we may be able to lower the dose and thus mitigate some of the side effects in the future, although we still do not know how humans respond to the drug," Clemmensen explained.

The new drug will need 3 stages of human clinical trials, so it may take 8 years to become available on the market.

It is worth noting that GLP-1 medications can help the body lose weight, but enhancing neuroplasticity can help retrain the brain to accept the result as the new normal weight and enhance weight loss results.

The study was published in the journal Nature.

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