In a milestone for Alzheimer's research, scientists have discovered that some blood pressure drugs can reduce the risk of the condition by as much as 50 percent, reported the Science Recorder on October 19.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers discovered that diuretics resulted in a 50 percent reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease for people over age 75 with mild cognitive impairment. In addition, those who took diuretic, angiotensin-1 receptor blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors had a 50 percent reduced risk.
“Identifying new pharmacological treatments to prevent or delay the onset of AD dementia is critical given the dearth of effective interventions to date. Our study was able to replicate previous findings, however, we were also able to show that the beneficial effect of these blood pressure medications" possibly go beyond blood pressure control, said Dr. Sevil Yasar, assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Therefore, Dr. Yasar hopes that the research can "help clinicians in selecting an antihypertensive medication based not only on blood pressure control, but also on additional benefits. We were able to confirm previous suggestions of a protective effect of some of these medicines not only in participants with normal cognition, but also in those with mild cognitive impairment."
Previous studies have linked hypertension to Alzheimer's and dementia. Researchers therefore had theorized that anti-hypertensive drugs could actually protect the brain. This new study is a first step in pinpointing which medications have that potential.
The data used for the research had been compiled during the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study. Dr. Yasar noted that the study showed no benefit of ginkgo biloba in reducing the risk of dementia or memory-related problems.
In addition, some physicians are contending that a link exists between eating grains, sugar and other carbohydrates and Alzheimer's disease. Learn more about why one neurologist believes that grains cause Alzheimer's by clicking here.