New studies show that taking beta blockers may decrease a person’s risk for dementia.
Why? Beta blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a known risk factor for dementia.
According to BBC News a new study shows that men who had high blood pressure treated with beta blockers had fewer abnormalities in their brain than those treated with other medications.
Findings of the new study are preliminary and a group of experts are set to present it in March at the American Academy of Neurology’s 56th Annual Meeting.
Dr, Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK explains:
“Hypertension is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia, and keeping high blood pressure in check could be important for preventing these diseases. This study suggests a link between the use of beta-blockers and fewer signs of dementia, but as the results of this study have yet to be published in full, it’s not clear what caused this link.”
The number of people with dementia is expected to grow significantly as the population ages. This new study could be a major step forward in preventing that. Ridley continues:
“With 820,000 people affected by dementia in the UK, and that number increasing, we urgently need to find ways to prevent the diseases that cause it – that requires a massive investment in research.”
The current study was conducted on Japanese-Americans and a greater investment in research would allow the study to expand to different races and genders. For the research to be medically applicable it has to be proven over a wider population. Because of this beta blockers cannot currently be used in dementia treatment and prevention.
Here is a video explaining how beta blockers work:
Do you know anyone affected by dementia that this new study could help as future treatment?