Does metformin cause dementia?

Does metformin cause dementia?
Does metformin cause dementia?

*** Metformin

Metformin is a common prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. Metformin reduces the amount of sugar in a person's blood. Since metformin was released on the market, there have been many myths linking it to dementia, a disease associated with confusion, memory loss, and mood changes.

*** What is dementia

Dementia is a term describing diseases and disorders that lead to memory problems, speech and thinking disorders. One of the types of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, which affects the elderly. Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia. Followed by vascular dementia. Alzheimer's disease works by deteriorating nerve cells in the brain. Parkinson's disease is also a common disorder that can lead to dementia.

***Is metformin associated with dementia?

The simple answer to this question is no. Metformin does not cause dementia and actually reduces the risk of dementia. In fact, a study of nearly 17,000 people with long-term diabetes found that metformin was associated with a greater reduction in the risk of dementia than other diabetes medications known as sulfonylureas such as glyburide and glipizide .

Another study found that metformin can alter cognitive functions in certain ethnic groups of people. Metformin was associated with a lower rate of dementia and improved mental function among African Americans with type 2 diabetes, but this effect was not seen in white patients.

But some other studies have found a link between long-term use of metformin by diabetics and insulin stimulants and an increased risk of dementia. Some cohort studies have found an increased risk of dementia with metformin.

Therefore, current research linking the use of metformin, especially as a monotherapy, to a diagnosis of dementia remains unclear. Therefore, more clinical studies should be conducted on this matter.

***Does metformin cause memory disorders?

Research is still not clear about the effect of metformin on memory, so there is no clear answer. But doctors still prescribe metformin as a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes.

What may cause memory disturbances for people who use metformin may not be related to the drug itself, but rather to the disease that the drug treats, which is diabetes. The mental effects of diabetes can range from moderate to severe mental impairment. In fact, a 2011 clinical study identified a risk factor between type 2 diabetes and dementia, and recognized that type 2 diabetes more than doubles the risk of dementia.

Another 2017 study found a link between insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes, and poor mental function.

The bottom line is that more research is needed to find out how metformin affects memory disorders, but type 2 diabetes can lead to decreased mental function and memory disorders.

***Clinical study on metformin

This 6-year study of Australian people with type 2 diabetes found a link between metformin and a reduced risk of dementia.

*** Benefits of Metformin

Metformin helps the body use insulin more effectively. It is known as an insulin stimulator. Insulin helps bring sugar into the cells of the body and use it as fuel for energy. People with type 2 diabetes do not use insulin effectively.

Metformin is an insulin-sensitive drug, and it has many other effects that maintain the metabolic health of cells.

Researchers believe that type 2 diabetes, or insulin, may play a role in the deterioration of brain and nerve cells and tissues. In addition to changes in the blood vessels. By enhancing the function of insulin in the body, insulin can help prevent this damage from occurring

This study included more than 1,000 people, aged 70 to 90 years. At the start of the study, all volunteers lived at home and had no symptoms of dementia. The volunteers underwent a series of neuropsychological tests every two years. Among the participants, 123 were diabetic and 67 were taking metformin.

People with diabetes who did not take metformin were five times more likely to develop dementia during this study. The researchers acknowledge that this study is not the first to show that metformin may be associated with a lower risk of dementia. Other studies have shown a similar association. The researchers aimed to see if the drug was a difference in memory and thinking in older adults.

*** Long-Term Side Effects of Metformin

Metformin is often prescribed long-term for the treatment of diabetes, so long-term side effects should be taken into account.

The most common side effects of metformin include:



Nausea and vomiting


stinging or regurgitation

Weight loss


The presence of a metallic taste in the mouth.

Side effects often go away in a few days or two, especially if they are mild. Sometimes these side effects decrease when the medicine is taken with a meal. But severe side effects require emergency medical care through a doctor.

*** Serious side effects of metformin

lactic acidosis

This serious disorder occurs if large amounts of lactic acidosis accumulate and the pH level in the body is low. This occurs in the event of a defect in the function of the liver, which leads to a defect in the secretion of metformin, and this can lead to disorders in the kidneys, and the accumulation of metformin in the body, which leads to lactic acidosis. The incidence of lactic acidosis is increased in patients with heart failure or congestive heart failure.

*** Symptoms of lactic acidosis include



Abnormal muscle pain

breathing difficulties


Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting

Dizziness or headache

slow or irregular heartbeat

lack of blood sugar

Metformin alone does not cause hypoglycemia. But in rare cases, this can happen in the event of a poor diet, strenuous exercise, or the use of other anti-diabetic medications. If left untreated, it can cause fainting, seizures, and in severe cases, permanent brain damage.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:






slow or rapid heartbeat


Anemia is a decrease in the number of red blood cells, which may be caused by low levels of vitamin B12. Since metformin can cause vitamin B12 deficiency, it is essential that patients either take a vitamin B12 supplement or get an adequate amount of the vitamin in their diet.

Symptoms of anemia include:




pale skin

cold hands or feet

broken nails

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