Hypertension drug may help Alzheimer's patients
Updated: June 18, 2019 13:45 pm
Seeking new treatments to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, researchers found the blood pressure drug nilvadipine increased blood flow to the brain's memory without affecting other parts of the brain. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. The risk for the disease increases with age and the causes are largely unknown. Previous research has shown that blood flow to the brain declines in early Alzheimer's disease. These findings indicate that cerebral blood flow in patients with Alzheimer's can be reversed in some regions, according to the study published in the Journal of Hypertension. Nilvadipine is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure. Researchers sought to discover whether nilvadipine could help treat Alzheimer's disease by comparing the use of nilvadipine and a placebo (a medicine or procedure prescribed for the psychological benefit) among people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Researchers note that sample sizes were too small and follow-up time too short to reliably study the effects of this cerebral blood flow increase on structural brain measures and cognitive measures. Previous studies have hinted that high blood pressure treatment could reduce the risk of developing dementia. The authors think that beneficial effects on brain blood flow could explain part of this effect.