Blood Pressure Medication Could Protect Against Motor Neuron Death in ALS 

Researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford have found evidence that the drug terasozin could help prevent motor neuron death in people with ALS

A joint study by the University of Edinburgh and University of Oxford has found that the drug terasozin shows potential as a treatment for ALS and other forms of motor neuron disease (MND).  

Terasozin is currently prescribed as a treatment for high blood pressure and prostate enlargement. The drug is an alpha blocker, meaning that it prevents a certain hormone from tightening the muscles in arteries and veins.  

The drug is also known to increase production of the PGK1 protein, which has been previously found to offer a degree of neuroprotection against the effects of Parkinson’s. In testing on zebrafish, mice, and stem cell models, researchers also found that terasozin offered similar neuroprotection against ALS and other forms of MND.  

“Our work shows that terazosin is protective of motor neuron cell death in multiple models of MND, making it an exciting new potential therapy,” said co-lead author Dr. Helena Chaytow of University of Edinburgh’s Center for Discovery Brain Sciences. “The benefit of working with terazosin is that it is already prescribed for a different health condition, so we know that it is safe for humans and could quickly move to the clinic.” 

The research team behind the study is set to conduct a feasibility study for the treatment of people with MND. If successful, the team will attempt to launch a clinical trial to determine if tersozin effectively treats the motor-neuron symptoms of ALS with FTD.  

For more information on the overlap between ALS and FTD, watch AFTD’s educational webinar on the ALS-FTD experience. 

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