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Blood Pressure Drugs May Lower Alzheimer's Risk

Are Beta-Blockers Really Better? continued...

Marc L. Gordon, MD, says more research is needed on what role blood pressure medication including beta-blockers can have on dementia risk. He is chief of neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., and an Alzheimer’s researcher at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y. 

“The new study is not an argument for putting beta-blockers in the water supply,” he says.

For starters, the findings may be specific to men of this genetic background. “It underscores evidence in different populations that not only does midlife hypertension increase risk of late-in-life dementia, but a number of different classes of drugs may have an effect on reducing those risks.”

The study should serve as a reminder to know your blood pressure numbers, he says. 

“We know that blood pressure is a risk factor for a number of things including heart attack and stroke, but also dementia,” he says. “It is a good idea to get on appropriate treatment if you have high blood pressure, and this may [ease] your risk for all causes of dementia, too.”

These findings will be presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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