A class of drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI), which are mainly hypertension drugs, and are very commonly prescribed patients who are dealing with high blood pressure, a new research study now reveals that these set of drugs can also be used by patients to fight Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, famously known as ALS.

ALS which is also called the Lou Gehrig’s disease has been seen to be common, and the huge Ice Bucket Challenge across the web and social media was used to collect money for the research for drugs to combat this disease in the past. Author of the study institute director Clive Svendsen, professor and director of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute said, “In this study, we show the exact progression of ALS in animals that have an inherited form of the disease, and we expose the brain’s significant role in initiating the disease process thought previously to originate in the muscle or spinal cord. We did this by selectively removing the disease-causing mutation just from the brains of ALS animals, and found that this alone had a big impact on disease initiation and progression. We found that spinal motor neurons [nerve cells that control muscles] die before symptoms begin and before nerve damage occurs between the spinal cord and the muscles.”

As the disease progresses, the victim starts to lose control over their body functions, until the lungs and heart fail, leading to the death of the individual. The study was led by Feng-Cheng Lin of the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital in Taiwan. The records from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance was examined by this team. Records of around 14,580 were taken into account for the study, who had been diagnosed with ALS from 2002-2008. Amongst these, in those cases where the patients who had been prescribed ACEI were around 17%-57% less likely to the spread of ALS disease.

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