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Can Blood Pressure Medication Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s?

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerNovember 1, 2013

A new study from Johns Hopkins University shows that certain blood pressure medications are linked to a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that certain common antihyperintesive drugs, or drugs that are used to treat high blood pressure, may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by half. The study was recently published in Neurology and is paving the way for additional drug treatment options.

Lower Blood Pressure Means a Healthier Brain

Dr. Sevil Yasar and fellow researchers gathered demographic information on over 2,000 senior participants over the course of six years. Of those participants, 71% were taking high blood pressure medication. Those who were taking certain types of  antihyperintensive medication, including diuretics, had a 50% less chance of developing Alzheimer’s.

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Exactly why the medication had this effect is unknown. One reason may be that high blood pressure is a risk factor for memory problems so lower blood pressure may protect against symptoms of Alzheimer’s in and of itself.

Next Steps for The Study

While the study showed promising preventative measures, more studies need to be done before drawing a conclusion. The study replicated previous findings that lower blood pressure means better brain power, but more research needs to be done to find how the medication works to reduce Alzheimer’s in addition to lowering blood pressure.

“Our study was able to replicate previous findings,” said researcher Dr. Yaser. “However, we were also able to show that the beneficial effect of these blood pressure medications are maybe in addition to blood pressure control, and could help clinicians in selecting an antihypertensive medication based not only on blood pressure control, but also on additional benefits.”

Have you seen blood pressure medication make a difference in the brain function of your loved one? 

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Alissa Sauer
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Alissa Sauer

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