Beta-blocker drugs 'could lower risk of dementia'

8 January 2013

Patients who suffer from high blood pressure often take what is known as beta-blocker drugs, but a new study has found another use for them in the prevention of dementia.

While it has always been known that high blood pressure is a well-established risk factor for the syndrome, it was never fully understood how taking beta-blocker drugs can actually reduce the likelihood of developing dementia.

This was uncovered in experiments involving 774 men, the findings of which will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Those on the drugs were less likely to undergo changes in the brain that could eventually lead to dementia.

"This study suggests a link between the use of beta blockers and fewer signs of dementia, but as the results of this study have yet to be published in full, it’s not clear what caused this link," commented Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK.

"It’s important to note that this study only looked at Japanese-American men, and these results may not be applicable to the wider population."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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