Medication currently being used to treat obesity is also proving to have significant health benefits for patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published today.

The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment starts, the better. Treating diabetes early reduces your risk of other health problems.

The study explains how this therapeutic benefit for type 2 diabetes is achieved by the way it acts in our brain.

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute, in collaboration with teams from the Universities of Cambridge and Michigan, have discovered that the medication Lorcaserin acts in the brain to improve type 2 diabetes.

This discovery is important because type 2 diabetes is an incredibly prevalent disease

Professor Lora Heisler, who is leading the Aberdeen team, said: “Current medications for type 2 diabetes improve symptoms of this disease by acting in the body.“We have discovered that this obesity drug, lorcaserin, acts in the brain to improve type 2 diabetes.

“Lorcaserin targets important brain hormones called pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) peptides, which are responsible for regulating appetite.

“So as well as sending messages telling us we are full and no longer need to eat, leading to weight loss, the POMC hormones also activate a different brain circuit that helps keep our blood glucose in check.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms: The disease is a growing health concernGETTY

Type 2 diabetes symptoms: The disease is a growing health concern

We fixed dad and reversed his type 2 diabetes

“This discovery is important because type 2 diabetes is an incredibly prevalent disease in the modern world and new treatment choices are needed.”Dr Mark Evans, leader of the Cambridge research team, said: “Of course, more research is needed, but these promising findings provide a completely new direction for type 2 diabetes drug treatment, which may offer hope to individuals struggling with this disease.”

This research was funded by the Wellcome Trust, BBSRC and MRC.

The study was published in the Molecular Metabolism.