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Blood Pressure Drugs Might Fight Diabetic Retinopathy

Study in mice reports success against proteins linked to the disease

FRIDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- New research in mice suggests that some drugs used to treat high blood pressure might help prevent and treat a disorder that causes people with diabetes to lose their vision.

The researchers tested candesartan (Atacand), a drug known as an angiotensin receptor blocker, on mice to see what would happen to 65 proteins in the retina that appear to be linked to diabetes. They found that the drug prevented more than 70 percent of the proteins from having abnormal changes.

The findings, which come in the largest study of its kind, could spell hope for people who suffer from diabetic retinopathy or are at risk for it. The disorder damages blood vessels in the retina. Previous research had suggested that high-blood pressure drugs -- also including ACE inhibitors -- might help.

The study findings were published in the Journal of Proteome Research.

More information

The U.S. National Eye Institute has more on diabetic eye disease.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: American Chemical Society, news release, Jan. 6, 2010

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