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article imageBeta-blockers may cut dementia

By Tim Sandle     Jan 9, 2013 in Health
New research suggests that beta-blockers, medicines designed to manage blood pressure, may lower the risk of dementia onset.
Data from a recent trail, the BBC summarizes, indicates that beta-blockers, apparently reduce the chance of brain changes associated with Alzheimer's and other neuro-degenerative conditions.
Beta-blockers have been used since the 1970s. The drugs are prescribed to treat heart failure and prevent heart disease.
According to the LA Times, the link between beta-blockers came about from a trial involving 774 subjects. Of these, 610 had elevated blood pressure levels and, of these 610, 350 were being treated for the condition. 15% of the 350 were on a beta-blockers course, while 18% were taking a combination of beta-blockers and one other blood pressure management drug. The remaining 67% were not taking any beta-blockers at all.
The researchers, the Daily Mail notes, showed that all drugs offered some level of brain protection but beta-blockers were superior by inducing a drop in brain abnormalities, especially brain lesions linked to Alzheimer's.
The trial had some limitations. The subjects tested were all men, of Japanese-American ethnicity, and the study population was relatively small. The study was too small to conclude that there was a definite link; however the results suggest that further research should be undertaken.
The results will be presented and discussed at the American Academy of Neurology's AGM in March 2013
More about betablocker, Dementia, Alzheimer, Alzheimer's disease, Drugs
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