Alzheimer disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disease that is the most common form of dementia, is characterized by the formation in the brain of plaques containing misfolded beta-amyloid protein. Recent evidence indicates that some drugs used to treat high blood pressure (antihypertensive medications) might reduce the risk of developing AD. In a new study, in which they screened 55 antihypertensive medications in vitro for potential AD-modifying activity, Giulio Maria Pasinetti and colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, have identified one antihypertensive medication with the ability to reduce AD-like disease in mice.
Only 7 of the 55 antihypertensive medications screened were able to reduce AD-like accumulation of beta-amyloid protein in cultured neurons isolated from mice engineered to be susceptible to an AD-like disease (Tg2576 mice). Of these 7, only 1 (valsartan) was able to markedly reduce the oligomerization of beta-amyloid protein, a feature of memory deterioration. As treatment of Tg2576 mice with valsartan, both before and after the onset of AD-like disease, reduced the severity of disease, the authors suggested that treatment with certain antihypertensive agents might be of benefit to individuals with, or at high risk of developing, AD.
TITLE: Valsartan lowers brain beta-amyloid protein levels and improves spatial learning in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease
Giulio Maria Pasinetti
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.
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