UAMS Scientist finds groundbreaking discovery


"It's important for all of us in this game to find a cure and to help the people who are struggling with the disease," Betsy Arnold said.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) — A researcher at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences gets national attention for highlighting a potential target to treat Alzheimer’s Disease.

Our hats are off to the researchers because we need a cure, there is no question about it.

Betsy Arnold, Broyles Foundation Co-Founder

Dr. Steven Barger, a researcher at UAMS and a former VA employee, did a study that explains why Alzheimer’s Disease can mimic the symptoms of diabetes.

His findings indicated there is not as strong of a connection between the two as previously believed.

Many medications that are used for diabetes are used to treat Alzheimer’s, but after Dr. Barger’s study, it shows there is a good chance those kinds of medications aren’t effective.

This is a huge discovery not only for UAMS but also for The Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation.

Dr. Barger said many researchers believe there is a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s and in many cases use the same medication to treat both conditions.

“Our biochemical studies indicate that’s occurring for two different reasons in the two different diseases,” he said.

His discovery showed these medications are probably not working because in Alzheimer’s there is a disruption in the process of getting glucose, a sugar that creates memories, inside the brain.

“In the long term we hope that understanding this glucose transport deficient will lead us to some novel medications that may actually work better for Alzheimer’s Disease,” he said.

Betsy Arnold is the co-founder of the Broyles Foundation, an Alzheimer’s caregiver foundation in Fayetteville.

She said she is thankful for the hard work of Dr. Barger because it gets us one step closer to finding a cure.

This is big, UAMS is fantastic.

Betsy Arnold, Broyles Foundation Co-owner

“They are the leading edge on so many areas but especially Alzheimer’s,” Arnold said. “This is a big discovery and I do believe it will change the discovery of research at least looking at why.”

She said it’s important that all researchers collaborate to end Alzheimer’s Disease.

“It takes a village to not only care for the caregivers but to also find a cure,” she said. “It’s wonderful that there is a village working together.”

Arnold said to please reach out to the Broyles Foundation if you or someone you know is struggling with this disease.

For the full UAMS press release, click here.

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