Researchers have found that a common class of blood pressure lowering drugs, i.e. beta blockers, could help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
In this study, researchers worked on 774 elderly Japanese-American men, who took part in the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study. Researchers performed autopsies after the death of the participants.
Out of 774 participants, 610 were diagnosed with high blood pressure or taking medications for high blood pressure. Among the participants, who were treated (nearly 350), 15% of the participants were taking only a beta blocker medicine, 18% were taking beta blocker with other medications and the rest of the participants were taking other drugs only.
Researchers found that although all types of medications are important for the treatment of blood pressure but the participants, who were taking only beta blockers had fewer abnormalities in their brain as compared to the participants, who were either taking other medicines or not taking medicines. Participants taking beta blockers alone or in combination with other drugs showed significantly less shrinkage in their brains.
“With the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease expected to grow significantly as our population ages, it is increasingly important to identify factors that could delay or prevent the disease,” said study author Lon White, M.D., of the Pacific Health Research and Education Institute in Honolulu.
“These results are exciting, especially since beta blockers are a common treatment for high blood pressure.”
Previous researches showed that high blood pressure in the middle stages of life is a significant risk factor for dementia.
Source: American Academy of Neurology