According to a new study, taking certain types of antihypertensive drugs is associated with a lower risk of dementia among the elderly, which has added to the debates surrounding the association between cognitive decline and hypertension.
One of the main characteristics of dementia is progressive cognitive decline, in which a person has symptoms of memory loss and poor thinking or decision-making abilities.
Scientists are still unsure about the exact causes of dementia. However, in order to prevent dementia, they are trying to study the potential risk factors associated with the development of this neurological condition.
Many studies have linked high blood pressure to a higher risk of dementia. Last year, an article that appeared in the journal Neurology found that high blood pressure is associated with a higher risk of experiencing brain lesions, which are often linked to dementia.
Now, according to the latest study that analyzed large data from the Disease Analyzer database, older adults who regularly follow antihypertensive therapies have a lower incidence of dementia.
Study co-author Dr. Jens Bohlken from the University of Leipzig said, “After another setback for the anti-amyloid strategy, dementia prevention is increasingly becoming an area of interest.”
Dr. Bohlken added, “In view of this, our most important task is to find existing therapies that are associated with a reduction in dementia risk or at least an extension of the time to dementia onset.”
The study researchers found that those who took certain high blood pressure drugs, including beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), seemed to have a lower risk of dementia.
In addition, they found that those who took calcium channel blockers for a longer period, the risk of dementia decreased significantly.
In spite of these promising results, study co-author and professor Karel Kostev said, “Antihypertensive therapy alone cannot guarantee that dementia will never occur. However, these findings highlight the importance of the prescription of antihypertensive drugs in the context of preventing hypertension-associated cognitive decline.” The investigators explained that further studies are required to look for more details at the association between antihypertensive drugs and dementia risk. Also, they noted that they “plan to investigate the role of lipid-lowering drugs, antidepressants, and further medications in the future.”