Monday November 18, 2019

Study: Hypertension Pill Help Patients Combat Alzheimer Disease Without Affecting Brain

Nilvadipine is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure (HBP)

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alzheimer, hypertension drugs
"Even though no medical treatment is without risk, getting treatment for high blood pressure could be important to maintain brain health in patients with Alzheimer's disease," Claassen said. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a drug, called nilvadipine that is consumed as a pill to control hypertension, could also help patients combat Alzheimer’s disease without affecting other parts of the brain. Nilvadipine is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure (HBP).

According to the study published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, these findings indicate that the known decrease in cerebral blood flow in patients with Alzheimer’s can be reversed in some regions.

“This high blood pressure treatment holds promise as it doesn’t appear to decrease blood flow to the brain, which could cause more harm than benefit,” said the study lead author Jurgen Claassen, Associate Professor at the Radboud University in the Netherlands.

hypertension pill, alzheimer
Nilvadipine is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure (HBP). Pixabay

“Even though no medical treatment is without risk, getting treatment for high blood pressure could be important to maintain brain health in patients with Alzheimer’s disease,” Claassen said.

For the study, researchers sought to discover whether nilvadipine could help treat Alzheimer’s disease by comparing the use of nilvadipine and a placebo among people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers randomly assigned 44 participants to receive either nilvadipine or a placebo for six months. They measured blood flow to specific regions of the brain using a unique magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique.

hypertension pill, alzheimer
Blood flow to other regions of the brain was unchanged in both groups. Pixabay

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Results showed that blood flow to the hippocampus, the brain’s memory and learning centre, increased by 20 per cent among the nilvadipine group compared to the placebo group. Blood flow to other regions of the brain was unchanged in both groups.

However, the sample sizes were too small and follow-up time too short to reliably study the effects of this cerebral blood flow increase on structural brain measures and cognitive measures, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Walking, A Key Tool Identify The Specific Type of Dementia

Researchers have found that walking may be a key clinical tool in helping doctors accurately identify the specific type of dementia

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health, dementia, walking, Alzheimer
The suffering that comes as a consequence of this disease is enormous. Pixabay

Researchers have found that walking may be a key clinical tool in helping doctors accurately identify the specific type of dementia a patient has.

Published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, the research have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease or Lewy body dementia have unique walking patterns that signal subtle differences between the two conditions.

The study also shows that people with Lewy body dementia change their walking steps more – varying step time and length – and are asymmetric when they move, in comparison to those with Alzheimer’s disease.

“The results from this study are exciting as they suggest that walking could be a useful tool to add to the diagnostic toolbox for dementia,” said study lead author Riona McArdle from the Newcastle University in the UK.

“It is a key development as a more accurate diagnosis means that we know that people are getting the right treatment, care and management for the dementia they have,” she added.

For the study, researchers analysed the walk of 110 people, including 29 older adults whose cognition was intact, 36 with Alzheimer’s disease and 45 with Lewy body dementia.

health, dementia, walking, Alzheimer
Dementia is a rapidly growing public health problem throughout the world. VOA

Participants moved along a walkway – a mat with thousands of sensors inside – which captured their footsteps as they walked across it at their normal speed and this revealed their walking patterns.

People with Lewy body dementia had a unique walking pattern in that they changed how long it took to take a step or the length of their steps more frequently than someone with Alzheimer’s disease, whose walking patterns rarely changed.

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When a person has Lewy body dementia, their steps are more irregular and this is associated with increased falls risk.

Their walking is more asymmetric in step time and stride length, meaning their left and right footsteps look different to each other.

The study found that analysing both step length variability and step time asymmetry could accurately identify 60 per cent of all dementia subtypes – which has never been shown before. (IANS)