Heart Medication Linked to Reduction in Incidence and Progression of Alzheimer's Disease
Researchers from Boston wanted to see if a type of medicine called angiotensin receptor blockers , used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, could affect the risk or progression of Alzheimer's disease. The study found that people who took angiotensin receptor blockers were less likely to develop Alzheimer's and had slower rates of progression.
About the Study
The medical records were searched for incidence of dementia, Alzheimer's, or the progression of current dementia during the four-year period. The incidence of dementia or Alzheimer's was only recorded for people that had no sign or diagnosis of dementia in 2002. The progression of the disease was measured in those that had a dementia diagnosis in 2002. The rate of progression was measured by the length of time to admission to nursing home or death. The review found that when compared to those that took lisinopril or other cardiovascular drugs, participants that took angiosten receptor blockers had significantly lower rates of:
- New dementia (in those that had no dementia at the start of the study)
- Admission to nursing homes and death (in those that had dementia at the start of the study)
How Does This Affect You?
This study design can not be used to establish a cause and effect relationship. Instead, it can be used to propose a link between angiotensin receptor blockers and less dementia. There are other studies that have not found this link. This information may help encourage further research with stronger study design to confirm or deny any connection.
Your doctor will consider these factors and many others when prescribing medicine. This study alone will not likely change your prescription. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding your risk of Alzheimer's.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Li NC, Lee A, Whitmer RA, et al. Use of angiotensin receptor blockers and risk of dementia in a predominantly male population: prospective cohort analysis. BMJ . 2010;340:b5465.
Last reviewed 1/22/2010 by
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