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Alzheimer's prevention hope

12th December 2006

Agents of anti-hypertensive drugs may be able to prevent cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease, new research has found.

The paper, presented to the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, looked at the drugs propranolol, nicardapine and losartan, which are usually prescribed for high blood pressure.

It concludes that such medications may have an impact on a patient's amyloid neuropathology, improving retention of their cognitive ability.

"The use of these drugs for their potential anti-amyloidogenic role is still highly experimental and at this stage we have no clinical data beyond phenomenological observation," said the study's lead author, Dr Gulio Maria Pasinetti.

"We need to complete clinical trials in the future if we are to identify preventative drugs, which will need to be prescribed at dosages that do not interfere with hypertension."

It is hoped that it may be possible to produce such drugs in a version which will not affect blood pressure, but can be given as a preventative Alzheimer's treatment for the geriatric population.