Washington D.C.: An FDA-approved blood pressure drug is casting a ray of hope for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.
In laboratory neuronal cultures, the drug reduced cell damage often linked to Alzheimer's disease, said the researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) and the National Institutes of Health.
They say their work provides information supporting the potential effect of the drug candesartan as well as other Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) for the early treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
The findings make sense in many ways, said senior author Juan M. Saavedra, adding that hypertension reduces blood flow throughout the body and brain and is a risk factor of Alzheimer's disease. Previous epidemiological studies found that Alzheimer's progression is delayed in hypertensive patients treated with ARBs.
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.
The study is published in the journal Alzheimer's Research and Therapy....