Navigation Links
Blood Pressure Drug Might Work Against MS
Date:8/17/2009

Research shows inflammation link between two disorders

MONDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Dr. Lawrence Steinman has this seemingly crazy idea that a drug commonly used to combat high blood pressure can help prevent the damage done to nerve cells in multiple sclerosis.

But people in the know tend to listen carefully to the ideas of Steinman, a professor of neurology at Stanford University, because one of his ideas was crucial in the development of natalizumab (Tysabri), a now widely used medication that can reduce the incidence of relapses in multiple sclerosis (MS) by two-thirds.

Research exploring Steinman's latest brainstorm appears online Aug. 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Steinman said he got his latest idea after he was prescribed the ACE inhibitor lisinopril (Zestril) for high blood pressure. When he put the drug name into his computer's search engines, vague references to a relationship between the drug's target, angiotensin, and multiple sclerosis started showing up.

An ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor blocks the activity of an enzyme that converts angiotensin to a form that tightens blood vessels.

"Angiotensin constricts blood vessels in response to standing up, so we don't faint," he said. "Nerve cells are intrinsically tied up with blood vessel walls, and that pathway plays a role in inflammation."

Inflammation also plays a crucial role in multiple sclerosis, in which the body's immune system attacks the myelin sheath of nerve cells in the brain. "We can also argue that inflammation plays a role in hypertension," Steinman said.

Working with researchers from other institutions, he put the idea to a variety of tests, such as examining tissue from brain samples of people with MS. The studies showed significantly elevated levels of the cell receptors for angiotensin and the enzyme blocked by lisinopril and other ACE inhibitors.

But surely, an effect on MS of such widely used drugs should have been noticed by now? Not so sure, Steinman said. "Generally, one doesn't start taking an ACE inhibitor until about age 60," he said. "Multiple sclerosis is a disease that starts in early adulthood, so not many people in the early stages of MS are taking an ACE inhibitor."

Steinman would like to go directly to a human trial to test his proposal, but there are practical difficulties. "Who's going to pay for it?" he asked. A standard proof-of-concept study with about 200 patients would cost in the vicinity of $20 million. ACE inhibitors are as inexpensive as any prescription drug at this time, so pharmaceutical companies won't see any profits from financing a study, he said.

Steinman said he plans to apply to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for funding, but he acknowledges that "in general, NINDS doesn't have that kind of money."

In the meantime, basic research will continue, he said. "We are seeing the type of nerve cells that angiotensin reacts with, the mediators that are reducing inflammation," Steinman said. "This is an unexpected pathway of inflammation in MS."

"It's a very interesting proposal," said Patricia O'Looney, director of biomedical research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which has financed some of the research. "The interest in MS is to find new strategies in order to control inflammation, what is the best way to control the pro-inflammatory molecules in MS."

There was some interest in studying the role of angiotensin in MS years ago, "but we didn't know much about the immune system 10 or 15 years ago," O'Looney said. "Now we can use state-of-the-art technology to examine the expression of proteins in human tissue. There could be a role of angiotensin in this inflammatory pathway. Perhaps by controlling these pathways we can actually shift the immune balance in a favorable way."

More information

All the aspects of MS are explored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.



SOURCES: Lawrence Steinman, M.D., professor, neurology, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; Patricia O'Looney, Ph.D., director, biomedical research, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, New York City; Aug. 17, 2009, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Mothers Immune System May Block Fetal Treatments for Blood Diseases
2. Cord Blood America Says Balance Sheet Significantly Strengthened in 2009
3. Heroes of Chemistry for saving teeth, clean water, new high blood pressure drug
4. Bayer Statement on U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advice for Patients: Serious Errors with Certain Blood Glucose Monitoring Test Strips
5. BD and PEPFAR Collaboration Will Improve Blood-Drawing Practices in Hospitals and Clinics in Sub-Saharan Africa
6. MRI Simulation of Blood Flow Helps Plan Childs Heart Surgery
7. Cold, Flu or Pneumonia? Answer May Lie in Blood Test
8. U.S. Navy Awards Entegrion Contracts for $4 Million for the Development of Critical Blood Products
9. Memorial Blood Centers Joins Extreme Makeover: Home Edition As Designated Charity
10. Blood transfusion study: Less is more
11. Gut Hormone Could be Key to Blood Sugar
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Blood Pressure Drug Might Work Against MS
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which ... evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , ... and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, ... and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints ... for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), an industry leader ... range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual American Healthcare Association ... held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the 2017 Morris ... of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium is taking ... in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to an individual ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National ... 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. ... for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/23/2017)... Pa. , Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen ... a complete response letter from the U.S. Food and ... seeking approval of sirukumab for the treatment of moderately ... letter indicates additional clinical data are needed to further ... moderately to severely active RA. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ., ... analytics, today announced that it has been ranked #1 by ... Black Book™ Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized ... for large hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds and ... Book,s healthcare technology user survey history. ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... Sept. 12, 2017   EcoVadis , the leading platform for environmental, ... first annual edition of its Global CSR Risk and Performance Index. The ... EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings that analyzed nearly 800,000 data points across ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: