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Danish researchers behind the next generation of weight loss medication

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Danish researchers are behind a new groundbreaking medicine that leads to greater weight loss than existing weight loss medications, at least in mice. The medicine works by smuggling special molecules into the brain’s appetite center and affecting the brain’s neuroplasticity.

This is reported by the University of Copenhagen on its website.

“I consider the medicine we have today as the first generation of effective drugs against obesity. Now we are coming with a new proposal for the next generation of weight loss medicine, which works by affecting the brain’s plasticity and seems to be very effective,” says Associate Professor and Group Leader Christoffer Clemmensen from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen, who is the senior author of a new study published in Nature.

In the study, Christoffer Clemmensen and colleagues show that the well-known weight loss hormone GLP-1 can be used in a new way.

GLP-1 can be used as a sort of ‘Trojan horse’ to ‘smuggle’ special molecules into the brains of mice. These molecules can change the brain’s plasticity and thus can provide extremely effective weight loss.

“We see a much-enhanced effect when we combine GLP-1 with these molecules. In some cases, the mice lose twice as much weight as the mice that only receive GLP-1 medication,” explains Christoffer Clemmensen.

Potentially, the enhanced effect of the new weight loss medicine could mean that future patients could take less medication but achieve the same weight loss. Additionally, the medicine could be an alternative for people who do not achieve a good effect from the existing weight loss medication.

However, the new weight loss medicine is not just around the corner, as it needs to be thoroughly tested on humans before it can be marketed. According to Christoffer Clemmensen, it may take up to eight years before the medicine hits the shelves.

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