Reports that some High Blood Pressure Drugs May have Positive Effects on Parkinsons and New Parkinsons Drugs that are Calcium Channel Blockers
What do some High Blood Pressure Drugs Have to do with Parkinsons
What do high blood pressure drugs have in common with Parkinsons drugs? Reports have circulated on the Internet that some people who take calcium channel blocker blood pressure medicines that can cross the blood brain barrier have seen some positive effects on their Parkinsons.Research in Parkinsons is heading in many directions. Michael J. Fox of back to the Future fame is returning to a full time television show. Fox has been a generous and aggressive supporter of new research into Parkinsons treatments and the search for a cure. His return to full time work is just one indication of the advances in Parkinsons research.
Reports have circulated on the Internet that some people who take calcium channel blocker blood pressure medicines that can cross the blood brain barrier( only some of them cross the barrier) have seen some positive effects on their Parkinsons. (the blood brain barrier is a separation that prevents many molecules from crossing from the blood stream into the brain). This has spurred research in that direction.
"Several years ago, Jim Surmeier, PhD, of Northwestern University, made an important discovery inspired by ongoing work in the lab: He found that hyperactive calcium channels (which are targeted by certain high blood pressure medications) might also stress dopamine neurons."
What do Calcium Channels have to Do with Parkinsons Research
Scientists have studied a calcium channel blocker called isradapine for it's possible positive effects on Parkinsons and are also looking at creating new drugs that work on specific types of calcium channels that they think have an impact on the dopamine producing cells involved in Parkinsons. Voltage-dependent calcium channels are a group of channels found in excitable cells (e.g., muscle, glial cells, neurons, etc.) with a permeability to the ion calcium. Activation of the channels allows calcium entry into the cell, which, depending on the cell type, results in muscular contraction excitation of neurons, up-regulation of gene expression, or release of hormones or neurotransmitters. Although they are studying isradapine, one researcher recommended not to use the isradapine for Parkinsons. Tanya Simuni M.D. who is studying isradapine for Parkinsons was quoted as saying " I would caution people against using isradipine as a drug to treat PD. We simply don’t yet have enough information to know that it works". News in Context: Isradipine Deemed Safe For People With Parkinson’s, But Will it Work as Disease-Modifying Drug?
"Several years ago, Jim Surmeier, PhD, of Northwestern University, made an important discovery inspired by ongoing work in the lab: He found that hyperactive calcium channels (which are targeted by certain high blood pressure medications) might also stress dopamine neurons, leading them to shut down or die. A lack of healthy dopamine neurons in the brain is the major cause of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease"..."Surmeier's compounds are similar to an FDA-approved(for blood pressure) calcium channel blocker that is already in clinical testing for its efficacy as a disease-modifying drug for PD, a drug called isradipine".