Doctors say people taking blood pressure drugs called beta blockers may be less likely to develop signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
"Treating high blood pressure is going to reduce your risk of developing dementia. That's key in this study, but use of beta-blockers in your blood pressure regimen can infer some additional benefit," said Dr. Ronan Factora.
Researchers at the Pacific Health Research and Education Institute in Honolulu reviewed the autopsy results of nearly 800 Japanese American men.
Results show those who received beta blockers as their only blood pressure medication had fewer abnormalities in their brains compared to those who had not been treated for their hypertension, or who had received other blood pressure medications.
Researchers say the findings could lead to a way to slow or prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Factora agrees.
"There might be something that the beta blockers do that may also help to reduce the risk of dementia that is separate from the blood pressure effects, but that requires some additional study."
Dr. Factora says that although the results are promising, you should hold off on changing your medication. The findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting.