Picture: An old woman 
Geriatric patients using certain
anti-hypertensive drugs may
benefit from additional effects

"If we can deliver certain anti-hypertensive drugs to patients at high risk to develop Alzheimer´s disease, at doses that do not affect blood pressure, these drugs could be made available for all members of the geriatric population identified as being at high risk for developing Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Geriatrics and Adult Development at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Over the past two years, investigators have been screening more than 1,500 drugs that are already commercially available for treatment of other disorders, to determine their potential value in treating Alzheimer's disease and cognitive impairment. They identified seven out of 55 candidate drugs commonly prescribed for the treatment of hypertension, which are capable of significantly preventing beta-amyloid production, which is a major mechanism recently identified as playing a key role in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis, particularly in respect to promotion of memory loss and dementia.

Dr. Pasinetti reports that mice genetically determined to develop Alzheimer´s disease beta-amyloid production and subsequent cognitive deterioration, significantly benefit from the treatment with the anti-hypertensive agent Valsartan, found to pharmacologically prevent beta-amyloid production in the brain even when delivered to Alzheimer´s disease mice at doses three to four fold lower than the minimal equivalent dose prescribed for the treatment of hypertension in humans. Other anti-hypertension drugs with beneficial results included Propranolol HCI, Carvedilol, Losartan, Nicardipine HCI, Amiloride HCI and Hydralazine HCI.

Dr. Pasinetti recognizes the limitations of the research, noting that studies must be immediately verified in human subjects to verify the effect of the drugs on cognitive deterioration and memory functions independent of their role as an anti-hypertensive agent.

MEDICA.de; Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine