Introduction: Hypertension is a modifiable risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias. Yet, despite this well-documented association, few of the current strategies to treat AD are directed at this possible target. The renin-aldosterone angiotensin system (RAAS) is a centrally active modifiable pathway that is involved in cerebral blood flow regulation. Currently, three classes of RAAS-targeting drugs are licensed for treatment of peripheral hypertension - angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-Is), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and direct renin inhibitors (DRIs). All of these are generally well tolerated and have been shown to offer varying degrees of protection on aspects of cognition and dementia, thus making them an attractive therapeutic option for AD.
Areas covered: This review summarises existing evidence regarding the plausibility of using RAAS-targeting drugs as a strategy to treat AD and highlights unresolved aspects to such approaches, namely the potential impact of altering angiotensin II-mediated processes in the central nervous system.
Expert opinion: Continued biochemical research of the RAAS pathway in combination with formal investigation of current RAAS-modifying drugs in randomised clinical trials is now necessary to determine their therapeutic value in AD.
- Alzheimer's disease
- angiotensin II
- angiotensin-converting enzyme
- angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor
- angiotensin-receptor blocker
- renin inhibitor
- AMYLOID BETA-PEPTIDE
- ELDERLY HYPERTENSIVE PATIENTS
- MIDLIFE BLOOD-PRESSURE
- CONVERTING ENZYME ACE
- COGNITIVE DECLINE
- DEGRADING ENZYMES
- VASCULAR DEMENTIA
- RECEPTOR BLOCKERS