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Blood Pressure Medication May Slow Dementia

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, July 28, 2008 9:19 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Aging, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Drug Products, Nursing Home

Alzheimer's and dementia progression may be helped by blood pressure medication.



IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/ progressive dementia patient/ author: Dr. Laughlin Dawes 


Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) are drugs given to lower blood pressure. Now it’s believes they could delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Major research is being presented this week in Chicago at an international conference on Alzheimer’s.

High blood pressure may damage blood vessels over time and raise the risk of strokes and heart disease.  Some types of dementia are directly linked to not only the condition of the arteries, but to blood pressure as well. 

ARBs were found by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine, to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s as well as lower the risk of the disease. 

Looking at the records of about six million treated for high blood pressure between 2001 and 2006, researchers found those taking ARBs were 35 to 40 percent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia when compared to people on other blood pressure medication such as ACE inhibitors. 

"For those who already have dementia, use of ARBs might delay deterioration of brain function and help keep patients out of nursing homes," Dr. Benjamin Wolozin, a professor of pharmacology, said in a university news release. 

The drugs help prevent the constriction of and damage to blood vessels which may be slowing the potential for dementia, as well as high blood pressure and the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Specifically, ARBs may be beneficial to prevent nerve cells injury resulting from blood vessel damage. #

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