Common blood pressure drugs cut the risk of Alzheimer's dementia by 50%, researchers find

Share this article:

Seniors who take certain blood pressure medications might be at a dramatically reduced risk for developing dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to findings published in the journal Neurology.

A team led by a researcher from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine analyzed results of the Gingko Evaluation of Memory Study. This was intended to see whether the herb gingko biloba reduces the risk of Alzheimer's. The herb does not, according to the study, but the researchers took another approach, looking at the blood pressure drugs that some of the 3,000 participants were taking.

People older than 75 who had normal cognition and took diuretics, angiotensin-1 receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors demonstrated a 50% reduced risk of Alzheimer's dementia, the researchers found. Among those with mild cognitive impairment, diuretic use was associated with a 50% reduced risk.

Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers did not have this effect, according to the researchers.

Further work is needed to determine why these medications have this apparent protective benefit, stated author Sevil Yasar, M.D., Ph.D. She said this research "could lead to identification of new pharmacologic targets for preventive interventions to slow cognitive decline and possibly delay progression of [Alzheimer's disease and] dementia."

Other recent research identified an orally administered compound that appears to stop the neurodegeneration caused by Alzheimer's. Scientists in the United Kingdom hailed this finding as a major step toward a pill for treating the disease. 

Share this article:

More in News

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in two years: Avalere

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in ...

More than three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a managed care plan as of 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis released Thursday. The numbers reveal that managed ...

Nursing home asked for employee's personal information too often, jury rules

The human resources department of a Maine nursing home did not properly protect a former employee's personal identification information, a jury recently ruled.

Test could confirm sepsis within an hour

Nursing home residents might benefit from a new way of diagnosing and treating sepsis made possible by discoveries out of the University of British Columbia.