Blood Pressure Treatment May Aid Cognition in Very Early Alzheimer’s

Blood Pressure Treatment May Aid Cognition in Very Early Alzheimer’s
A new analysis of data from a Phase 3 clinical trial testing the blood pressure medication nilvadipine supports evidence that its use helps to slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients with very mild, very early stage disease. This finding was reported earlier  — the trial ended in 2016 — but results then looked at the entire trial population, ranging from people with very early to moderate disease. Supporting the earlier findings may aid in repurposing nilvadipine to prevent the disease in people at risk and to treat very early stage patients. They also again found evidence of  "a greater cognitive decline" in people with moderate Alzheimer's treated with nilvadipine, compared to those in this group given a placebo. The study, “The Influence of Baseline Alzheimer's Disease Severity on Cognitive Decline and CSF Biomarkers in the NILVAD Trial,”  was published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology.  People with Alzheimer's, the most common neurodegenerative disease, have chronic brain inflammation alongside high levels of toxic forms of two proteins, called amyloid and tau, in the brain. The accumulation of these proteins disrupt and damage neurons. Nilvadipine is a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker approved to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) in several European countries and Japan, but not in the U.S. Previous studies in animal models of Alzheimer's found that nilvadipine also has anti-inflammatory properties, and was able to lower amyloid and tau protein levels in the animals' brains. A Phase 3 clinical trial, called NILVAD (NCT02017340), took place across Europe to test nilvadipine as a potential Alzheimer's treatment. It enrolled  497 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, who were randomly a
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