High blood pressure is a known risk factor for dementia. A new research suggests that taking beta-blocker drugs may cut the risk of dementia.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Drugs used for controlling the high blood pressure such as beta-blockers, slow heart rate in order to reduce workload and help the heart pump more efficiently. High blood pressure is a known risk factor for dementia. A new research suggests that taking beta-blocker drugs may cut the risk of dementia. The full outcome of the recent studies which will be published soon said that men on beta-blockers were less likely to have brain changes suggestive of dementia. However more time needed before beta-blockers can be prescribed for dementia.
Blood carries the necessary oxygen and nourishment to the brain and without it, brain cells can die. High blood pressure may damage the small vessels that supply the brain with blood. Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer's disease and can occur if blood flow to the brain is reduced. The latest research found that in 774 Japanese-American men, all types of blood pressure medication were better than no treatment in terms of signs of dementia in the brain, brain shrinkage and tiny areas of brain tissue damage caused by poor blood supply which were noted at autopsy after death.
The research team at the University of Hawaii found that men who received beta-blockers as their only blood pressure medication had less abnormalities in their brains than those who were not treated for their hypertension, or who received other blood pressure medications. However men only on beta-blockers had less brain abnormalities compared with those who were on a mixture of beta-blockers and other medications.
Dr Lon White, the author of the study said "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. These results are exciting, especially since beta-blockers are a common treatment for high blood pressure." The full report of this latest research is expected to be published in March 2013.
In another research work with a much larger sample of men, i.e. 800000; suggests another type of blood pressure drug known as an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) may cut dementia risk, including Alzheimer's disease, by as much as 50%.