A high blood pressure drug has the potential to slow down Alzheimer’s disease by improving the flow of blood to parts of the brain linked to memory, a study suggests. Researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands found the drug nilvadipine increased blood flow to the brain’s memory and learning centre among people with Alzheimer’s without affecting other parts of the brain.
Nilvadipine is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high BP. The findings were published in the journal Hypertension. They indicate that the known decrease in cerebral blood flow in patients with Alzheimer’s can be reversed in some regions.
However, the researchers questioned whether the observed increase in cerebral blood flow translates to clinical benefits. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. The risk for the disease increases with age and the causes are largely unknown.