August 18, 2009

Link found between hypertension and MS

U.S. medical scientists say they have found a link between high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis that might lead to less expensive MS treatments.

Stanford University School of Medicine researchers said the linkage, found in mice and in human brain tissue, suggests an inexpensive drug used to treat hypertension might also have therapeutic value in multiple sclerosis.

But Professor Lawrence Steinman, the study's senior author, said extensive clinical trial work is needed to determine if the drug, lisinopril, can do in humans what it does in mice.

We were able to show that all the targets for lisinopril are there and ready for therapeutic manipulation in the multiple-sclerosis lesions of human patients, Steinman said. Without that, this would be just another intriguing paper about what's possible in the mouse.

The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.