Older news items (pre-2010) brought over from the old website
Some blood pressure drugs may help protect against dementia
High blood pressure is a major contributor to the development of all types of dementia. Data from over 1000 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study, who were free of dementia when they entered the study and who were being treated for hypertension, has revealed that those taking centrally-active ACE inhibitors (which cross the blood-brain barrier) showed significantly lower rates of mental decline. However, non-centrally active ACE inhibitors were associated with an increased risk of dementia compared to those taking other anti-hypertensive drugs. Centrally-acting ACE inhibitors include captropril (Capoten®), fosinopril (Monopril®), lisinopril (Prinivil® or Zestri®), perindopril (Aceon®), ramipril (Altace®) and trandolapril (Mavik®).
Sink, K.M. et al. 2009. Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults With Hypertension: Results From the Cardiovascular Health Study. Archives of Internal Medicine,169 (13), 1195-1202.
Blood pressure drugs may cut risk of Alzheimer's by 40%
Analysis of more than 5 million UK medical records has revealed that those taking drugs known as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), used to treat high blood pressure, had a 35-40% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and similar neurodegenerative disorders. The drugs also appeared to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, reducing deaths, admissions to nursing homes and certain symptoms of the condition by up to 45%. The drugs were of most benefit to patients who had experienced a stroke. The most common ARBs are marketed as candesartan, losartan and irbesartan. In the next few months, the study will be repeated using US medical records of a further 3 million patients. It’s reported that the analysis has also identified other drugs that appear to prevent Alzheimer's and some that make the condition worse. A combination of ARBs with other drugs may reduce the risk of dementia by more than 50%.
The findings were presented at the international conference on Alzheimer's disease in Chicago.
Anti-hypertensive drug may help prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease
A review of more than 1,500 drugs commercially available for treatment of other disorders, to determine their potential value in treating Alzheimer's disease, identified 7 out of 55 candidate drugs commonly prescribed for the treatment of hypertension as capable of significantly preventing beta-amyloid production. Only one of these drugs — Valsartan — was shown to have a marked in vitro effect, and this drug has now been shown to reduce the severity of Alzheimer’s in genetically engineered mice.
Wang, J. et al. 2007. Valsartan lowers brain ß-amyloid protein levels and improves spatial learning in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 117, 3393-3402.
Full text available at: http://www.jci.org/cgi/reprint/117/11/3393
Some hypertension drugs may help reduce dementia risk
Data from the Cardiovascular Health Study, a long-term study of cardiovascular risk factors that involved 5,888 people over 65 years old, has studied 1,074 participants who were free of dementia when they entered the study and who were being treated for high blood pressure. They found use of a class of high blood pressure medicines that are centrally active ACE inhibitors was associated with lower risk of cognitive decline. The benefit did not result from ACE inhibitors in general, only to those that are centrally active (which means they can cross the blood brain barrier). Centrally acting drugs include captropril (Capoten®), fosinopril (Monopril®), lisinopril (Prinivil® or Zestri®), perindopril (Aceon®), ramipril (Altace®) and trandolapril (Mavik®).
Wolozin B, Lee A, Lee A, Whitmer R, Kazis L. Use of angiotensin receptor blockers is associated with a lower incidence and progression of Alzheimer disease. Presented at: International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease. CA, USA, 26–31 July 2008 (Abstract O1-05-05).
Hypertension drugs might help Alzheimer’s
A project to determine whether drugs that are already commercially available for treatment of other disorders might help in treating Alzheimer’s disease using in vitro methods has identified several hundred drugs as having promise in preventing beta-amyloid build-up, of which seven are commonly prescribed to treat hypertension. One drug in particular was identified as effective in blocking the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain and preventing the deterioration of cognitive performance: Propranololo-HCL (Inderal), a drug widely prescribed to treat high blood pressure in elderly patients. Of course, clinical trials will need to occur before this can be confirmed.
The research was reported at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology’s (ACNP) annual conference December 3 - 7, 2006, in Hollywood, FL.