Hypertension Drugs Affect Alzheimer’sby Larry Leonard | December 21, 2006
Early studies are reporting the use of some drugs for high blood pressure may be protecting against Alzheimer’s disease, in animal studies according to Gulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D., of the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Dr. Pasinetti as reported that people with cardiovascular disease have a higher risk of dementia, but some epidemiological and clinical studies have suggested that treatment with anti-hypertension drugs, such as propranolol (sold under various brand names), nicardapine (Cardene), and losartan (Cozaar) — that were tested in a short-term dosing study in mice, reduces the risk.
The research has the “potential” to help prevent Alzheimer’s but it’s still very early in the scientific process, commented Vahram Haroutunian, Ph.D., who is also at Mount Sinai but was not involved in the research. “The issue is complicated because humans often have a range of disease, not just high blood pressure,” he said.
Very little is known about the pharmacokinetics of the medications in the brain. In the animals, the level of propranolol, for example, was five times higher in the brain than in plasma, according to Dr. Pasinetti.
Continued research may help prevent Alzheimer’s but it’s early in the scientific process, commented Vahram Haroutunian, Ph.D., who chaired the panel. Dr. Haroutunian is also at Mount Sinai but was not involved in the research.
Primary Source: ACNP Conference Report December 2006
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