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medicalxpress.com 15 Sep, 2021 19:00 am

Potential new drug for incurable vascular dementia

Potential new drug for incurable vascular dementia
A drug already used to treat high blood pressure could be re-purposed as the first treatment to tackle a type of vascular dementia caused by damaged and 'leaky' small blood vessels in the brain, according to research part-funded by the British Heart Foundation and published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

September 15, 2021 Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain A drug already used to treat high blood pressure could be re-purposed as the first treatment to tackle a type of vascular dementia caused by damaged and 'leaky' small blood vessels in the brain, according to research part-funded by the British Heart Foundation and published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.High blood pressure is known to be the main risk factor in developing vascular dementia.However, the way that high blood pressure damages the small blood vessels, causing them to narrow and restrict blood flow to specific areas of the brain, has been unknown.The effectiveness of different types of blood pressure medication on these arteries has also never been directly tested.

Now, researchers at the University of Manchester working with colleagues in the USA have discovered that the blood pressure drug amlodipine could help treat vascular dementia or stop it in the early stages.They looked at blood flow in the brains of mice with high blood pressure and vascular damage in the brain.

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