. Valsartan lowers brain beta-amyloid protein levels and improves spatial learning in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease. J Clin Invest. 2007 Nov;117(11):3393-402. PubMed.

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  1. Perhaps the effect that is being seen is related to C-reactive protein. CRP is clearly implicated in Alzheimer's, and apparently valsartan reduces CRP.

    Here are a few quotes to illustrate:

    "Inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.... [T]he level of systemic inflammation markers, particularly C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, can predict cognitive decline or dementia.” (1)

    "Blood levels of CRP... are associated with higher risk of Alzheimer disease and cognitive decline during aging.” (2)

    "C-reactive protein has been shown to co-deposit with C fragments in a number of disorders, including Alzheimer's disease..." (3)

    "Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (valsartan, irbesartan, olmesartan, telmisartan) markedly reduce serum levels of CRP." (4)

    View all comments by P.F. Jennings
  2. The analysis of the pleitropic effects of Valsartan is striking. The potential of a class effect amongst the sartan drug family should be investigated further. Several of the inactive compounds in the first assay round are not the real Valsartan competing agent: Losartan (a primary alcohol) is active as its acidic metabolite EXP3174; Candesartan Cilexitil is a prodrug, which requires metabolic activation.

    Tasosartan, Telmisartan and Irbesartan lack a crucial acid moiety common to the other three.

    References:

    . Angiotensin II AT1 receptor antagonists. Clinical implications of active metabolites. J Med Chem. 2003 Jun 5;46(12):2261-70. PubMed.