JAN 29, 2016 5:22 PM PST

Blood Pressure Drug May Be Answer to Alzheimer's Disease

WRITTEN BY: Julianne Chiaet
Alzheimer's disease primarily affects individuals over age 65.A drug used to treat high blood pressure could be the answer to treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive degenerative brain disease. It causes cognitive decline and memory loss. In Alzheimer’s disease, damaged cells release too much glutamate, an important neurotransmitter involved in most aspects of brain function. The excess glutamate leads to chronic overexposure to calcium, which in turn speeds up brain cell damage.

Using neuronal cultures, the researchers studied the effects of the high blood pressure medication on the toxic effects of excessive glutamate. The medication, candesartan, is an angiotensin receptor blocker sold under the brand name Atacand.

The researchers found that candesartan prevented neuronal death caused by glutamate. The drug also prevented neuronal inflammation and changes in amyloid metabolism. The latter change is especially important since the buildup of amyloid plaques are a hallmark of the disease. The researchers then compared the gene expression in the cultures to autopsy samples from Alzheimer’s patients that were published in gene databases.
 

"The correlations were impressive. The expression of 471 genes that were altered by excess glutamate in our cultures were also altered in brain autopsy samples from patients who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Candesartan normalized expression of these genes in our cultures," said study author Abdel G. Elkahloun, from the Comparative Genomics and Cancer Genetics Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

The researchers hypothesize that candesartan and/or other angiotensin receptor blockers have the potential to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s and prevent or delay its development.
They say their findings support testing candesartan and other angiotensin receptor blockers in controlled clinical studies on patients at early stages of Alzheimer’s.

The research was published online on January 28, 2016, in the journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy.

Sources: Journal study Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, Georgetown University Medical Center press release

 
About the Author
  • Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to Jchiaet.com
You May Also Like
OCT 01, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Canadian Scientists Hope to Take Lead in Neutron Research, Again
OCT 01, 2020
Canadian Scientists Hope to Take Lead in Neutron Research, Again
(Pixabay/geralt) Neutron sources are the key to advancing research in many areas such as energy storage, mechanical engi ...
OCT 12, 2020
Cancer
Targeting Energy Production in Cells to Fight Leukemia
OCT 12, 2020
Targeting Energy Production in Cells to Fight Leukemia
Much like how a car needs gasoline to run, cells also need a fuel source. Most human cells in the body use oxidative pho ...
OCT 14, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The CRISPR Nobel Win from Different Angles
OCT 14, 2020
The CRISPR Nobel Win from Different Angles
CRISPR-Cas9 was THE buzz word in the world of science after the Nobel Chemistry Prize announcement last week. But depend ...
OCT 21, 2020
Immunology
CNS's immune cells - Microglia are involved in the exacerbation of MS
OCT 21, 2020
CNS's immune cells - Microglia are involved in the exacerbation of MS
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most progressive autoimmune diseases that affect the central nervous system where ...
OCT 19, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
Early Childhood Trauma Affects Metabolism in the Next Generation
OCT 19, 2020
Early Childhood Trauma Affects Metabolism in the Next Generation
Traumatic experiences can have a lasting impact, and kids that suffer through them can feel the effects for a lifetime. ...
OCT 21, 2020
Microbiology
The First Treatment for Ebola is Approved by FDA
OCT 21, 2020
The First Treatment for Ebola is Approved by FDA
Ebola virus can pass from animals to humans, and between people. Rarely, it causes outbreaks but when it does, they can ...
Loading Comments...