Some Blood Pressure-lowering Medicines Linked To Less Memory
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Older adults taking blood pressure-lowering medications known to cross the blood-brain barrier had better memory recall over time compared to those taking other types of medicines to treat high blood pressure, according to new research.

This is the first meta-analysis to compare the potential impact over time of blood pressure-lowering medicines that do vs. those that do not cross the blood-brain barrier. The medicines were evaluated for their effects on several cognitive domains, including attention, language, verbal memory, learning and recall.

Researchers gathered information from 14 studies of nearly 12,900 adults ages 50 years and older. These included studies done in the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland and Japan. The meta-analysis found:

1. Older adults taking blood pressure-lowering medicines that cross the blood-brain barrier had better memory recall for up to 3 years of follow-up compared to those taking medicines that do not cross the blood-brain barrier even though they had a higher level of vascular risk.

2. Adults taking hypertension medications that did not cross the blood-brain barrier had better attention for up to 3 years of follow-up.

"These findings represent the most powerful evidence to-date linking brain-penetrant ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers to better memory. It suggests that people who are being treated for hypertension may be protected from cognitive decline if they medications that cross the blood-brain barrier," said study co-author.

Blood pressure is considered elevated at 120/80 mm Hg and higher. The current American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines for treating high blood pressure suggest changes to diet and activity levels to lower blood pressure and adding blood pressure-lowering medication for people with levels of 130/80 mm Hg or higher depending on their risk status. If blood pressure reaches 140/90 mm Hg, blood pressure-lowering medication is recommended.

Source:
https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.121.17049
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