ACE Inhibitors Associated with Decreased ALS Risk

Investigators have identified that the use of (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors) ACE inhibitors, a class of hypertension drugs, is linked with a decreased risk in the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – also called to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

ACE inhibitors are commonly used as drugs for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart disease.

As ALS advances, motor neuron cells in the human body degenerate and die. This leads to specific muscles to become weak and waste away.
As ALS advances, motor neuron cells in the human body degenerate and die. This leads to specific muscles to become weak and waste away.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a common type of motor neuron disease that strikes the motor neuron cells in the brainstem, spinal cord and cerebrum. This damage leads to muscle weakness, progressively affecting on the performing of the body and gradually leading to death.

With respect to the ALS Association, about 5,600 individuals are diagnosed with the condition in the US each year. The organization considers that approximately 30,000 People in America could have ALS at any given time, and the average life span of sufferers after diagnosis is in between 2-5 years.

Currently, ALS is handled with a medicine called riluzole. It can enhance the quality lifestyle of ALS sufferers, but it cannot cure the condition. As a outcome, investigators continue to look for other types of therapy that could be of benefit to individuals with this situation or decrease the danger of ALS development.

An earlier research involving rats identified that an ACE inhibitors known as temocapril had a positive effect on the health of damaged motor neurons. The outcomes recommended that ACE inhibitors could protect the nerves in sufferers with motor neuron problems.

Till now, the effects of ACE inhibitor treatment in human cases of ALS had been un-recorded, even though ACE inhibitors have been identified by investigators to be beneficial in treating other neurodegenerative problems, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

A specific dosage of ACE inhibitors related with considerable risk decrease

Dr. Feng-Cheng Lin, and co-workers performed a case-control research of the people of Taiwan, evaluating what connection, if any, there was between the development of ALS and the use of ACE inhibitors.

The data reviewed were obtained from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance (NHI) database, composed of ambulatory, dental, hospital in-patient and out-patient care information.

Within the database, 729 sufferers had obtained an ALS diagnosis in between January 2002 and December 2008. Their data were compared with 14,580 people without having the disease, designated as a control group. Of the sufferers with ALS, about 15% revealed ACE inhibitors use between 2-5 years before their diagnosis, in comparison with 18% of the control group.

The scientists measured the possibility of developing ALS in both categories. They identified that sufferers who had been recommended ACE inhibitors with a 449.5 cumulative define daily dose (cDDD) had their possibility of ALS decreased by 17%. Sufferers recommended with ACEIs higher than 449.5 cDDD experienced a risk decrease of 57%.

‘Additional animal and clinical trials needed’

“The results in this total population-based case-control research unveiled that long-term visibility to ACEIs was inversely related with the risk for establishing ALS,” write the scientists. “To our understanding, the present research is the initial to screen the connection between ACEIs and ALS threat in a population-based research.”

They recommend that ACEIs could decrease the risk of ALS by protecting motor neuron cells from the effects of over active glutamate receptors, decreasing neuro-inflammation and oxidative stress, and preserving normal levels of vitamin E inside the body.

The writers of the research, presented in JAMA Neurology, accept that their database had specific restrictions, regardless of its size. They observe that essential details concerning the time of the initial symptom onset was not accessible, together with vitamin E consumption and other essential predictors of ALS, like as cigarette smoking and alcohol intake.

These restrictions mean that additional research is essential before complete conclusions can be drawn. “This was an observational population-based research; hence, more animal and clinical research are needed to assess the chance of using ACE inhibitors for treating ALS,” conclude the authors.

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