ARB Drugs May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in Patients with High Blood Pressure 09/20/12

A 2012 study published in Archives of Neurology suggests that taking ARB medication (angiotensin receptor blockers) to manage high blood pressure is associated with a significant reduction in risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study showed that high blood pressure patients taking other forms of blood pressure lowering drugs are not seeing the same protection against Alzheimer’s disease as those using certain ARB’s.

This study is of great importance, as individuals with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors are known to be at higher risk for the development of Alzheimer’s disease and/or vascular dementia. The protective mechanism appears to be that ARB’s block the build up the beta-amyloid plaque that is a hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease.

Beta-amyloid plaque is a protein fragment that generates free radicals in the brain and damages brain cells in other ways, as it accumulates around and in between brain cells.

The evidence is strengthened by the fact that ARB drugs that don’t enter the brain, but still lower blood pressure, did not provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease. Only ARB drugs that enter the brain were associated with a reduction in risk of Alzheimer’s disease. High blood pressure patients who were prescribed ARB’s that are known to enter the brain showed a 32% to 35% lower likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

This was also true when the researchers compared patients treated with ARBs vs untreated patients, not just tested against ARB’s vs other types of blood pressure lowering medications. Previous studies in 2010 and 2011 also showed that certain ARB drugs (that enter the brain) were associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Another impressive feature, in my opinion, is that ARB drugs have a very good safety profile and have very few side effects, compared with many other types of blood pressure lowering medications. The fact that certain ARB’s may also reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease in patients with high blood pressure is an additional bonus that doctors should take into consideration when prescribing medications for these patients.

In the recent past I have written blog article summarizing other scientific studies showing that some natural supplements may also help reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These include Vitamin D, melatonin, Vitamin E, curcumin, and omega-3 fats.

Alzheimer’s disease is becoming a major health problem in our aging society. Studies continue to show that diet, supplementation and lifestyle behaviours are the most important factors in preventing or encouraging the development of this dreaded disease, as we age.

I suggest you download a free copy of my Ebook showing the most important ways to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Preserve Your Memory. It is mandatory reading as most physicians do not study enough nutrition to discuss these matters during a typical office visit. And prevention is crucial in this area. Here is link to the free Ebook: http://www.meschinohealth.com/LP/Memory_Loss_and_Alzheimers_Disease-Natural_Prevention

 

Reference For ARB’s Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease:

http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1356776 (Archiv Neurol Sept. 10. 2012)

 

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