Calcium Channel Blockers: A Possible Potential Therapeutic Strategy for the Treatment of Alzheimer's Dementia Patients with SARS-CoV-2 Infection

ACS Chem Neurosci. 2020 Aug 5;11(15):2145-2148. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.0c00391. Epub 2020 Jul 14.


Studies have shown that the calcium ion (Ca2+) plays important roles both in Alzheimer's dementia and SARS-CoV S-mediated fusion to host cell entry. An elevated level of intracellular calcium causes neuronal dysfunction, cell death, and apoptosis. Dysregulation of calcium has also been shown to increase the production of amyloid beta (Aβ) protein, the hallmark of Alzheimer's dementia. Reversely, deposition of Aβ is also responsible for calcium dysregulation. On the other hand, it has been well investigated that viruses can disturb host cell Ca2+ homeostasis as well as modulate signal transduction mechanisms. Viruses can also hijack the host cell calcium channels and pumps to release more intracellular Ca2+ to utilize for their life cycle. Even though evidence has not been reported on SARS-CoV-2 concerning Ca2+ regulation, however, it has been well established that Ca2+ is essential for viral entry, viral gene replication, and virion maturation and release. Recent reports suggest that SARS-CoV needs two Ca2+ ions to fuse with the host cell at the entry step. Furthermore, some calcium channel blockers (CCBs), such as nimodipine, memantine, etc., have been reported to be effective in the treatment of dementia in Alzheimer's disease (AD) as well as have shown inhibition in various virus infections.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s dementia; CCBs; Ca2+; SARS-CoV S-mediated fusion; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / chemistry
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / metabolism
  • Coronavirus Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / metabolism
  • Pneumonia, Viral / psychology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Calcium Channels
  • Calcium