An amylin analog used as a challenge test for Alzheimer's disease

Haihao Zhu, Robert A. Stern, Qiushan Tao, Alexandra Bourlas, Maritza D. Essis, Meenakshi Chivukula, James Rosenzweig, Devin Steenkamp, Weiming Xia, Gustavo A. Mercier, Yorghos Tripodis, Martin Farlow, Neil Kowall, Wei Qiao Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction Preclinical studies demonstrate the potential of amylin in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We aimed to lay the foundation for repurposing the amylin analog and a diabetes drug, pramlintide, for AD in humans. Methods We administered a single subcutaneous injection of 60 μg of pramlintide to nondiabetic subjects under fasting conditions. Results None of the participants developed hypoglycemia after the injection of pramlintide. The pramlintide challenge induced a significant surge of amyloid-β peptide and a decrease in total tau in the plasma of AD subjects but not in control participants. The pramlintide injection provoked an increase in interleukin 1 receptor antagonist and a decrease in retinol-binding protein 4, which separates AD subjects from control subjects. Discussion Pramlintide use appeared to be safe in the absence of diabetes. The biomarker changes as a result of the pramlintide challenge, which distinguished AD from control subjects and mild cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-43
Number of pages11
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Alzheimer's disease (AD)
  • Amylin challenge
  • Biomarkers
  • Diagnosis
  • Pramlintide
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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