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Blood Pressure Drugs Can Now Treat Dementia

Alzheimer’s is a disease which causes the symptom called Dementia. Person suffering from Dementia loses his intellectual abilities. Medical practitioners and patients somehow do not make out this difference and use the words Alzheimer’s and Dementia interchangeably. Survey statistics, as latest as July 2009, report that nearly 5.3 million people in the United States live with Alzheimer’s. Together with its symptom Dementia, Alzheimer’s is responsible for increasing the health care costs for the senior citizens of this country by three times. The cost stands to be at $148 billion dollar every year.

According to the predictions of the Alzheimer’s Disease International, there will be 66 million people in 2030 and more than 115 million people in 2050 in the world suffering from Dementia. An estimation says that, for every 70 seconds, there is a fresh case of Alzheimer’s in United States.

Research previously done to address this health issue did not provide any success. But the latest research done in this field has found that blood pressure drugs have the potential to prevent this mental health issue. The comments of experts on the effectiveness of these drugs are also positive.

The research study was conducted by researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine. It involved 800,000 dementia patients (mostly males) from United States as participants. These participants were senior citizens above the age of 65 years and were heart patients too. Heart patients with high blood pressure are always known to be high at risk of getting dementia. It is because series of mild heart attacks damage brain function over the period of time. The duration of the research was from 2002 to 2006.

The participants were divided in to three groups. First group was given the blood pressure medicine angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). Second group was the medicine Lisinopril, which is a blood pressure lowering drug. Third group was also given another blood pressure drug similarly.

The study found that the drug ARBs was most effective in significantly reducing the risks of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Its effectiveness further increases when the second drug Lisinopril is added with it and given to the patients. However, these findings are still in their primitive stages and further research is still required before clinical trials on humans can be commenced.

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