Study in mice finds blood pressure drug shows promise for treating Parkinson’s and dementia – Alzheimer’s Society comment

A drug to treat high blood pressure has shown promise against Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and forms of dementia.

In a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, scientists have shown that felodipine, a hypertension drug, was effective at reducing the build-up of harmful clumps of proteins in mice and may be a candidate for re-purposing.

The study was carried out by scientists at the UK Dementia Research Institute – the UK’s biggest single investment in dementia research funded by Alzheimer’s Society, the Medical Research Council and Alzheimer’s Research UK – and the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research at the University of Cambridge.

Fiona Carragher, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, one of the study’s funders, says:

'With no new treatments for dementia in over 15 years, it’s encouraging to see that repurposing an existing drug, an innovative approach which we’re adopting at the UK Dementia Research Institute, has showed signs of reducing key hallmarks of some types of dementia.

'However, it’s still early days, and more research is needed to fully understand this drug’s potential in tackling the symptoms of the condition and to examine dosage and side effects.                                                                                                

'Research will beat dementia, and the work of the UK Dementia Research Institute is bringing us one step closer every day. However, more funding is urgently needed.

'With the Virgin Money London Marathon less than two weeks away, we hope that people continue to support and donate to the Dementia Revolution runners, who are raising vital money to fund studies like this at the Dementia Research Institute.'