In a new study, experts have found that a commonly used 50-year-old diuretic drug has shown promising efficiency in reducing an individual’s risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Health experts who have been involved in the study have said that they have been hunting for a pre-approved drug that can be repurposed to find a new and more effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The findings of the new study have revealed that exposure to this widely used diuretic drug can cut down the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The study has started many years ago along with the research of brain tissue samples that have been taken from patients who have been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The authors of the study have designed and used a new computational approach to find out gene expression profiles that are specific to the dreaded disease. They have particularly analyzed certain specific strains that have been linked to a gene known as APOE. The APOE has been known to be linked to an elevated risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Later, experts have shifted their focus to observing a database of more than 1300 drugs that have been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The lead author of the study, Dr. Alice Taubes has claimed that an impartial method has helped them to find some drugs that are able to reverse the altered gene expression, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, back to the normal status. Alice Taubes has said that the findings of the study have given some crucial clues about which drugs can be efficient against Alzheimer’s disease linked to APOE4 gene expression. Health experts have stated that a drug that is known as bumetanide has turned out to be a top contender for developing a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease out of an already authorized drug. They have said that it has been in use for many decades, particularly as a diuretic drug.
The authors of the study have tested the effectiveness of this drug on many animal models of Alzheimer’s disease. The findings have shown that the drug is able to reduce cognitive deficits significantly and has been able to reduce the volume of toxic amyloid proteins. The drug has been able to restore a normal state of electrical brain activity as well, said the experts. A co-senior author of the study, Marina Sirota has noted that there is a need for in-depth safety testing before initiating a clinical trial in humans and animals, and cell studies as well while developing a traditional drug. However, in the case of an existing FDA authorized drug, they can use and test real-world human data to test in silico to identify the effectiveness of the drug. Therefore, the authors of the study have analyzed real-world data to understand the drug’s efficiency in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Experts have analyzed electronic health data of more than five million people whittled down to two age and demographically coordinated sets of nearly 3000 people each. One set of people has been exposed to bumetanide and the other has been treated with a different type of diuretic drug. People in both groups have been identified with similar genetic risks of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. However, those who have been exposed to bumetanide have been at 35 to 75 percent lower risk of being detected with the disease. The senior author of the study, Yadong Huang has said that though animal models involving bumetanide have looked at a specific APOE4 genetic pre tendency to the disease, the real-world tests have been more general and have shown that the drug might be broadly potent. Huang has said that as the two electronic health data do not divide patients as per their APOE4 types, the real-world data shows that the drug might be more largely effective against the disease afar from the patients who have two prints of APOE4.
It is not the first time when bumetanide has been suggested to treat mental diseases. Experts have said that the method that is used by the drug to treat water retention in cells affects neuron activity in the brain as well. The authors of the study have said that for ages, health care providers have considered bumetanide as an effective therapy for treatment for autism spectrum disorder. Animal studies and interim human trials have shown that the drug might be able to lessen behavioral anomalies that are linked to the disease. However, experts’ hope has collapsed after a pair of large-scale phase 3 trials have been stopped after interim findings have shown that the drug is no better than a placebo. A neuroscientist from the University of Nevada, Los Angeles, Jeffrey Cummings has said that he does not believe that bumetanide will work as a potent treatment for the disease. He has said that the findings will help scientists to invest their energy in a direction to come up with new drugs that are based on how bumetanide can help improve the condition. Cummings has said that the link between the drug and Alzheimer’s disease has not been proved yet. The side effects caused by this drug are not desirable among elderly people. He has claimed that the outcomes of the new study show a range of pathways that have not been tested fully. As the FDA has already granted a sanction to bumetanide and it has an established safety profile, experts are planning to launch a large-scale clinical trial to test its potency in humans. Experts have said that initially, clinical trials will focus on patients who carry APOE4 genetic risk factors specifically. The head of the drug development program at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Division of Neuroscience, Jean Yuan has said that the outcomes of the new study are strong enough to begin a clinical trial to test the drug in people who carry certain genetic risks factors for the disease. She has said that it seems that the future of Alzheimer’s disease treatment will be quite personalized, as the disease appears to be more heterogeneous as compared to what has been perceived earlier. Experts have said that Alzheimer’s disease might need definite types of care such as multiple remedies, to target a person’s unique genetic and disease traits.