Home HEALTH Can a blood pressure drug protect the brain from Parkinson’s?

Can a blood pressure drug protect the brain from Parkinson’s?

A prescription drug already in use for the treatment of high blood pressure could be effective against conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s, in which toxic proteins build up in brain cells.
Hypertension drugs on wooden background Scientists could repurpose felodipine to prevent Parkinson’s disease.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health in China suggest that the hypertension drug felodipine could be a promising candidate for “repurposing” as a treatment for neurodegenerative conditions.
In experiments with zebrafish and mice, they showed that felodipine can prompt a cellular recycling process called autophagy to clear away toxic proteins in brain cells, or neurons.
“Our data suggest,” they write in a recent Nature Communications paper, “that felodipine induces autophagy in neurons and enhances removal of a range of disease-causing proteins: mutant huntingtin, mutant [alpha]-synuclein, and tau.”
Mutant huntingtin is characteristic of Huntington’s disease, while mutant alpha-synuclein and tau are hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively.
The study is important because it shows that felodipine can remove mutant alpha-synuclein from the brains of mice at blood levels “similar to those that would be seen in humans taking the drug [for hypertension].”
“This is the first time,” says corresponding study author David C. Rubinsztein, a professor of molecular neurogenetics at the University of Cambridge, “that we’re aware of that a study has shown that an approved drug can slow the buildup of harmful proteins in the brains of mice using doses aiming to mimic the concentrations of the drug seen in humans.”
“As a result,” he continues, “the drug was able to slow down progression of these potentially devastating conditions and so we believe it should be trialed in patients.”
In hypernatremia, the body contains too little water relative to the amount of sodium, Mount said. This causes sodium levels to become abnormally high in the blood — more than 145 mEq/L — which causes water to move out of body tissues and into the blood in an attempt to equalize the concentration between the two. Water can be lost from brain cells, causing them to shrink, which can be dangerous.