Is Dutasteride a Therapeutic Alternative for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?

Belén Proaño, Julia Casani-Cubel, María Benlloch, Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, Esther Navarro-Illana, Jose María Lajara-Romance, Jose Enrique de la Rubia Ortí

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by the loss of upper and lower motor neurons (MNs) in the cerebral cortex, brainstem and spinal cord, with consequent weakness, atrophy and the progressive paralysis of all muscles. There is currently no medical cure, and riluzole and edaravone are the only two known approved drugs for treating this condition. However, they have limited efficacy, and hence there is a need to find new molecules. Dutasteride, a dual inhibitor of type 1 and type 2 5α-reductase (5AR) enzymes, the therapeutic purposes of which, to date, are the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and androgenic alopecia, shows great anti-ALS properties by the molecular-topology methodology. Based on this evidence, this review aims to assess the effects of dutasteride on testosterone (T), progesterone (PROG) and 17β-estradiol (17BE) as a therapeutic alternative for the clinical improvement of ALS, based on the hormonal, metabolic and molecular pathways related to the pathogenesis of the disease. According to the evidence found, dutasteride shows great neuroprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It also appears effective against glutamate toxicity, and it is capable of restoring altered dopamine activity (DA). These effects are achieved both directly and through steroid hormones. Therefore, dutasteride seems to be a promising molecule for the treatment of ALS, although clinical studies are required for confirmation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2084
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2022


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