People taking angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) are 50% less likely to develop dementia than those taking other blood pressure drugs. Research has shown that when ARBs are combined with another drug it also protects those who already have the disease from any further deterioration.
The race is now on to discover new and effective treatments for dementia as the latest calculations have suggested more than 115 million people across the globe will suffer from the illness by 2050. Those who suffer from high blood pressure for a prolonged period of time are at risk of developing damaged blood vessels which is known to increase not only the risk of strokes but also heart disease and dementia.
Researchers delved into the records of more than 800,00 people who were treated for high blood pressure between 2002 and 2006, 98% of whom were men. They found that those who were taking ARBs were 50% less likely to develop dementia and this figure shrank even further when the drug was taken in combination with ace inhibitors.
Although the exact reason the drug is so effective is unknown, it is thought that it may help to prevent nerve cell injury from blood vessel damage.