For 2 years, Dr Pasinetti, at Mount Sinai, screened more than 1,500 commercially available drugs for possible use in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment.
What Pasinetti was specifically looking for was a drug that would stop the production of beta-amyloid, which is currently considered a critical factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairment disorders.
Using mice that were genetically selected to produce beta-amyloid, Pasinetti isolated 7 commonly prescribed hypertension medications that significantly prevent the production of beta-amyloid. One of those drugs, Valsartan, was found to prevent beta-amyloid production in the brain when delivered to the Alzheimer’s diseased mice at doses 3-4 times lower than the minimal equivalent dose prescribed to humans for the treatment of hypertension. Other anti-hypertension drugs with beta-amyloid production lowering capability are: Propranolol HCI, Carvedilol, Losartan, Nicardipine HCI, Amiloride HCI, and Hydralazine HCI.
Pasinetti understands the limitations of his research and hopes that his identification of the usage of hypertension medications to lower beta-amyloid production will encourage complete preventive and therapeutic clinical trials with humans in the near future.