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According to researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center ( GUMC ) and at National Institutes of Health ( NIH ), in laboratory neuronal cultures, a drug used to treat high blood pressure reduced cell damage often linked to Alzheimer's disease.

The work, published in the journal Alzheimer's Research and Therapy, provides information supporting the potential effect of the drug Candesartan, as well as other angiotensin receptor blockers ( ARBs; sartans ) for the early treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Hypertension reduces blood flow throughout the body and brain and is a risk factor of Alzheimer's disease.
Previous epidemiological studies found that Alzheimer's progression is delayed in hypertensive patients treated with sartans.

Using neuronal cultures, the researchers explored the action of Candesartan on the neurotoxic effects of exposure to excessive glutamate, a demonstrated injury factor in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

The investigators found that Candesartan prevented glutamate-induced neuronal death.
They conducted in-depth gene analyses of the laboratory results, demonstrating that Candesartan prevents neuronal inflammation and many other pathological processes, including alterations in amyloid metabolism, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

Gene expression in the neuronal cultures with published gene databases of autopsy samples from Alzheimer's disease patients was compared. The correlations were impressive, the expression of 471 genes that were altered by excess glutamate in the cultures were also altered in brain autopsy samples from patients who suffered from Alzheimer's disease.
Candesartan normalized expression of these genes in the cultures.

Researchers have hypothesized that Candesartan, or other sartans, may not only slow progression of Alzheimer's but also prevent or delay its development. ( Xagena )

Source: Georgetown University Medical Center, 2016

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