Beta-blockers—medication that targets the beta receptors found on the cells of heart muscles, airways, arteries and other tissues of the sympathetic nervous system—may lower the risk of dementia, suggests the abstract of a study to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in March (January 7).
The medication is already used to treat high blood pressure, a known risk factor for dementia.
In the study, researchers reviewed the autopsy results of nearly 800 Japanese-American men. Those who were taking blood pressure drugs called Beta Blockers as their only medication for blood pressure had fewer abnormalities in their brains.
The study showed "a congruent amelioration of cognitive decline or impairment associated with beta-blocker use," the authors concluded.
"One thing to keep in mind is that this study was done in Japanese-Americans, and we really would need a larger study including the whole population to see if these benefits are unique to this class of medications," says Dr. Ronan Factora of Cleveland Clinic.
"So I don't think it makes people run out and say, 'Hey I want to change my blood pressure medication to this class.'"
by RTT Staff Writer
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