Could hypertension drugs help people with Alzheimer's?
Within the next 20 years it is expected the number of people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) will double from its current figure of half a million to one million. A new study has looked at whether certain types of drugs used to treat high blood pressure, also called hypertension, might have beneficial effects in reducing the number of new cases of Alzheimer's disease each year.
The team of researchers from the University of Bristol have looked at whether drugs already being used to treat hypertension, particularly ones that specifically reduce the activity of a biochemical pathway, called the renin angiotensin system, might reduce the occurrence of Alzheimer's and another common type of dementia called vascular dementia.
The study, conducted with the support from North Bristol NHS Trust and published online in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, stems from work by one of the team's members, Dr Patrick Kehoe. Dr Kehoe, who is a Reader in Translational Dementia Research and co-leads the Dementia Research Group at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, is a leading authority on the possible role of the renin angiotensin system in Alzheimer's.
This pathway is very important in blood pressure regulation and, for at least a decade, links between hypertension and dementia have been known but poorly understood.
In more recent years it has been shown that certain signals produced by this pathway contribute to a number of the damaging effects often seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. These include memory loss, lowered blood circulation in the brain, higher levels of brain inflammation and increased levels of brain cell death due to reduced oxygen circulation.
Dr Patrick Kehoe said: "Drugs that can prevent Alzheimer's occurring at all, or delaying its onset would have a substantial benefit on the lives of future sufferers, their families, as well as an overstretched health care system.
"Current Alzheimer's drugs treat memory loss by attempting to correct chemical imbalances in the brain but these only work for a limited time. This limited treatment period is because the drugs are unable to stop the underlying mechanisms that cause the disease. Therefore the need to find new ways of stopping Alzheimer's goes on."
Dr Kehoe's research led him to experts in the study of risk factors for disease in large populations and datasets. Professors Richard Martin and Yoav Ben-Shlomo, and researcher Neil Davies in the University's School of Social and Community Medicine, used the General Practice Research Database, which holds anonymised data on approximately ten million people who attend General Practitioner surgeries around the UK. The research team made some very interesting observations in what is one of the largest studies of its kind on dementia in the UK.
The researchers found people over 60 years, who had ever taken one of two different groups of drugs that target the renin angiotensin system in the previous ten years, had a 50 per cent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's with a more modest 25 per cent reduced risk for forms of vascular dementia compared to patients on any other types of hypertension drugs. This suggests that these benefits, if truly causal, are not merely due to a blood pressure lowering effect and may involve specific biochemical alterations.
Professor Richard Martin added: "Whilst our findings are interesting, these are not conclusive findings. We now need to do the clinical trials to properly test our observations."
Dr Kehoe and colleagues are now currently in the process of trying to obtain funding to undertake this necessary further research. If found to be successful, these treatments could be relatively quickly entered into Alzheimer's care since these drugs are already used for other conditions and are thought to have reasonably low side effect issues.
More information: Associations of Anti-Hypertensive Treatments with Alzheimer's Disease, Vascular Dementia, and Other Dementias, Neil M. Davies, Patrick G. Kehoe, Yoav Ben-Shlomo, Richard M. Martin. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, published online ahead of print, 4 October 2011.
Provided by University of Bristol
- Investigating the causes of Alzheimer's Nov 22, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Angiotensin receptor blockers associated with lower risk of Alzheimer's disease Jan 13, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Link identified between Alzheimer's disease and glaucoma Aug 06, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Statins may protect against memory loss Jul 28, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Blood flow in Alzheimer's disease Jul 27, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Change in momentum when a body is thrown up and falls back down.
7 hours ago Say, a body of mass 'm' is thrown at a certain angle with the vertical with certain initial velocity 'u'. The initial momentum of this object is mu....
change in speed and wavelength of light while travelling from one med
7 hours ago what is the mechanism by which light changes its speed and wavelength while travelling from one medium to other. I know it is c/n or lamda/n and know...
Calculus of Variation - Classical Mechanics
10 hours ago I'm reading Classical Mechanics (Taylor), and the 6th chapter is a basic introduction to calculus of variations. I'm super confused :confused: ...
Frictional Force Equation Doesn't Make Sense
10 hours ago Frictional Force is mathematically defined as: Ff = μ*m*g*cos(θ) , where μ is the coefficient of friction, m is the mass of the object, g is...
Calculating Steam Pressure in Closed Container
15 hours ago I am trying to calculate the volume of liquid water i need to place in a sealed container in order to obtain 10 psi of steam pressure in that closed...
Learning curve of Electromagnetism?
21 hours ago I'm taking a first year physics course and have been having a little trouble with the basics of newtons laws and forces and whatnot, though nothing...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
The devastating effect of Alzheimer's disease on bilingual people has been thrown into focus in Canada, where the sudden loss of a second language can leave sufferers feeling like strangers in their own country.
Alzheimer's disease & dementia 17 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Working with lab mice models of multiple sclerosis (MS), UC Davis scientists have detected a novel molecular target for the design of drugs that could be safer and more effective than current FDA-approved ...
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Older individuals with nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) seem to have a significantly reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study published online May 15 in Neurology.
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 16, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
People who have skin cancer may be less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to new research published in the May 15, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The li ...
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 15, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have helped identify many of the biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease that could potentially predict which patients will develop the disorder ...
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 14, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 0 |
The hunt for an HIV vaccine has gobbled up $8 billion in the past decade, and the failure of the most recent efficacy trial has delivered yet another setback to 26 years of efforts.
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Regular consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings were being presented at the Digestive Disease ...
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Patients with treatment-resistant major depression saw dramatic improvement in their illness after treatment with ketamine, an anesthetic, according to the largest ketamine clinical trial to-date led by researchers from the ...
9 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores new methods for managing digestive health through diet and lifestyle.
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
The use of a smartphone application significantly improves patients' preparation for a colonoscopy, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW). The preparation process, which begins days in ...
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
There are significant cost and risk factors associated with two procedures commonly used to diagnose or treat gastrointestinal problems, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0