Blood pressure drug may treat Alzheimer’s disease

Washington, Jan 30 (IANS) A drug used to treat high blood pressure has been found to reduce cell damage often linked to Alzheimer’s disease, reports a new study.

The researchers explored the effect of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug candesartan for the early treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Our findings make sense in many ways. Hypertension reduces blood flow throughout the body and brain and is a risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease,” said the study’s senior author Juan Saavedra from Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) in Washington, DC.

The findings were published online in the journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy.

Using neuronal cultures, the researchers explored the action of candesartan on the neurotoxic effects of exposure to excessive glutamate, a demonstrated injury factor in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

The scientists found that candesartan prevented glutamate-induced neuronal death.

They conducted in-depth gene analyses of the laboratory results, demonstrating that candesartan prevented neuronal inflammation and many other pathological processes, including alterations in amyloid metabolism, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

“We hypothesise that candesartan, or other members of the ARB (Angiotensin receptor blockers) group, may not only slow progression of Alzheimer’s but also prevent or delay its development,” Saavedra noted.

Angiotensin receptor blockers form a class of medications used to treat high blood pressure.

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