Blood pressure drugs may boost brainpower: Side effect of medicines slows dementia patients’ mental decline

| July 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

By Jenny Hope

Smart pills? Lisinopril is part of a family of blood pressure drugs called ACE inhibitors which could boost patients’ ain power, research suggests

Doctors have long recognised that taking blood pressure drugs may slow the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Now researchers have uncovered the first evidence that the drugs, called ACE inhibitors, may actually boost ainpower.

Those with high blood pressure are more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s and similar diseases, but the study found their memory and thinking skills were protected by the drugs they were taking.

ACE inhibitors – whose names include ramipril, captopril and perindopril – have become increasingly popular in the past ten years, particularly for younger patients.

Researchers in Ireland and Canada investigated drugs which target a specific biochemical pathway called the renin angiotensin system – a hormone system which is thought to affect the development of Alzheimer’s.

The study compared the rate of cognitive decline in 361 patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia (caused by problems in blood supply to the ain), or a mix of both. Of that group, 85 were already taking ACE inhibitors; the rest were not.

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