Jan 08, 2013

By Michael Kramer

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A new U.S. study says people taking  blood pressure drugs may be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

The preliminary findings of a U.S. study are important because earlier research shows  that high blood pressure in midlife is a strong risk factor for dementia.

Dr. Lon White is with the Pacific Health Research and Education Institute in Honolulu.

He says these new results are exciting, especially since beta blockers are a common treatment for high blood pressure.

Beta blockers result in the heart beating more slowly and  reduce  blood pressure. They also help open blood vessels to improve blood flow.

The study showed the brains of men who had taken beta blockers alone or in combination with another blood pressure medication had significantly less shrinkage in the brain and brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s  Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23.

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