A BLOOD pressure pill taken by thousands could help to fight Alzheimer’s.
Experiments in mice found felodipine destroys chemicals, called tau, that kill neurons in the brain.
Getty – Contributor The blood pressure drug felodipine taken by thousands of Britons could combat Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research
The chemicals are also linked to similar dementia diseases Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.
Human trials of the drug are planned.
Study leader Prof David Rubinsztein, of Cambridge University, said: “We can be cautiously optimistic.
“This is the first time we are aware of a study has shown an approved drug can slow the build-up of harmful proteins in the brains of mice using doses aiming to mimic the concentrations of the drug seen in humans.
“As a result, the drug was able to slow down progression of these potentially devastating conditions and so we believe it should be trialled in patients.”
However, the professor added that this is only the first stage of the research.
“The drug will need to be tested in patients to see if it has the same effects in humans as it does in mice.”
He said: “These data support testing in humans with appropriate neurodegenerative diseases.
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“Indeed, when a drug is safe and well tolerated, the possibility of preventive treatments aiming to delay disease onset also becomes an option.”
In Britain there are about 850,000 people living with dementia, a figure expected to rise to two million by 2050.
Furthermore, Parkinson’s affects about 145,000 and Huntington’s more than 7,000.
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