Benefits of Calcium Channel Blockers – Dementia and Psychiatric

For people worried re side effects, it is nice to know some drugs have benefits. Calcium channel blocks (L type are what are being used) have been shown to stabilize moods and potentially help slow down Alzheimers. I’m going to switch my blood pressure med to one of those…

Higham, James Philip, et al.
Restoration of olfactory memory in Drosophila overexpressing human Alzheimer’s disease associated tau by manipulation of L-type Ca2+ channels.
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 13 (2019): 409.

According to a summary of their findings here:
Calcium channel blockers may reduce memory decline in Alzheimer’s

  • “Researchers found an overload of calcium ions in diseased brain cells caused an overproduction of the L-type calcium channel” – which led to too much calcium in nerve tissues.
  • calcium antagonists restored levels to normal
  • ability to determine odors was damaged and restored with calcium channel blocker amlodipine

Hayes JF, Lundin A, Wicks S, et al.
Association of Hydroxylmethyl Glutaryl Coenzyme A Reductase Inhibitors, and Biguanides With Rates of Psychiatric Hospitalization and Self-Harm in Individuals With Serious Mental Illness.
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online January 09, 2019.

  • Taking all the people in Sweden and look at bipolar and schizophrenia.
  • Then look at what drugs they are on, and check their hospitalization rates. Turns out, certain commonly used drugs – cholesterol lowering statins, calcium channel blocker blood pressure meds, and metformin significantly reduce hospitalization rates.

“Exposure to LTCC antagonists (calcium channel blockers) was associated with reduced rates of psychiatric hospitalization and self-harm in subgroups with

  • BPD(bipolar disorder)
    self harm – aHRs, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.88-0.96; P < .001] (=down 8%)
    hopsitalization – 0.81 [95% CI, 0.68-0.95; P = .01] (=down 19%)
  • Schizophrenia
    self harm – aHRs, 0.80 [95% CI, 0.74-0.85; P < .001](= down 20%)
    hospitalization – 0.30 [95% CI, 0.18-0.48; P < .001] (=down 70%)
  • nonaffective psychosis (NAP)|
    self harm – aHRs, 0.89 [95% CI, 0.83-0.96; P = .002] (=down 11%)
    hospitalization –  0.56 [95% CI, 0.42-0.74; P < .001] (=down 44%)

Comment – strong case for amlodipine as the blood pressure control drug of choice especially if psychiatric problems and potentially wish to prevent alzheimer’s




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