Beta Blockers taken for High Blood Pressure might prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Stethoscope - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - Researchers found that men who took beta-blockers for treating high blood pressure were less likely to have brain shrinkage and other anomalies that could signal Alzheimer’s disease or other kinds of dementia.

The Honolulu-Asia Aging Study involved 774 elderly Japanese-American men. After the men died, autopsies were conducted. Six-hundred-ten out of 774 men had high blood pressure or were being treated with high blood pressure medication.

Less than half, around 350, of the men had been taking blood pressure medication; 15 percent took only beta blocker medication, 18 percent took beta blockers with one or more other hypertensive medications, and the remaining took another type of blood pressure medication with no beta blockers.

The researchers found that taking blood pressure medication regardless of type was definitely better than the group that did not take any medication. The men who took beta-blockers, however, faired the best with fewer brain abnormalities. The men who took beta-blockers along with other medications had intermediate reductions in the amount of brain abnormalities, including microinfarcts and brain lesions that suggest Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, the men who had taken beta-blockers alone or along with other hypertension medications had considerably less brain shrinkage.

Study author Lon White, MD, of the Pacific Health Research and Education Institute in Honolulu expressed excitement for the potential preventive factors beta blockers could offer against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia because the medication is a common treatment already prescribed to treat high blood pressure.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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