Posted on Jan 25, 2010, 6 a.m.
Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), a type of blood pressure medication, may cut the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
Previous studies have causally linked heart disease to cognitive decline including Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Benjamin Wolozin, from Boston University School of Medicine (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues studied 800,000 subjects with heart disease, ages 65 and older at the study’s start (most of them were male). To address their iheart disease condition, one group was using angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), another set was taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor (lisinopril), and a third group was on other heart medications. The researchers found that those taking ARBs were significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or dementia. The team also found that ARBs in combination with ACE inhibitors in patients who had already developed Alzheimer's or dementia reduced the risks of premature death or admission to nursing homes. The researchers conclude that: “Angiotensin receptor blockers are associated with a significant reduction in the incidence and progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia compared with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or other cardiovascular drugs in a predominantly male population.”
Nien-Chen Li, Austin Lee, Rachel A Whitmer, Miia Kivipelto, Elizabeth Lawler, Lewis E Kazis, Benjamin Wolozin. “Use of angiotensin receptor blockers and risk of dementia in a predominantly male population: prospective cohort analysis.” BMJ 2010;340:b5465,12 January 2010; doi: 10.1136/bmj.b5465.