Glycolysis-enhancing alpha1-adrenergic antagonists modify cognitive symptoms related to Parkinson's disease


Terazosin is an α1-adrenergic receptor antagonist that enhances glycolysis and increases cellular ATP by binding to the enzyme phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1). Recent work has shown that terazosin is protective against motor dysfunction in rodent models of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and is associated with slowed motor symptom progression in PD patients. However, PD is also characterized by profound cognitive symptoms. We tested the hypothesis that terazosin protects against cognitive symptoms associated with PD. We report two main results. First, in rodents with ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine depletion modeling aspects of PD-related cognitive dysfunction, we found that terazosin preserved cognitive function. Second, we found that after matching for demographics, comorbidities, and disease duration, PD patients newly started on terazosin, alfuzosin, or doxazosin had a lower hazard of being diagnosed with dementia compared to tamsulosin, an α1-adrenergic receptor antagonist that does not enhance glycolysis. Together, these findings suggest that in addition to slowing motor symptom progression, glycolysis-enhancing drugs protect against cognitive symptoms of PD.

npj Parkinson’s Disease
Jacob Simmering
Jacob Simmering
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

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