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Blood Pressure Drug May Slow Cognitive Decline

Posted Aug 20 2013 10:07pm

Recently published studies suggest that antihypertensive agents, particularly centrally acting ACE inhibitors (CACE-Is) such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which cross the blood-brain barrier, may be associated with a reduced rate of cognitive decline. William Molloy, from the University College Cork, St. Finbarrs' Hospital (Ireland), and colleagues  compared the rates of cognitive decline in 361 subjects, average age 77 years, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, or a mix of both conditions.  Between 1999 and 2010, the cognitive decline of each patient was assessed using standardized scales on two separate occasions, 6 months apart.  A total of 85 of the patients were already taking ACE inhibitors; the rest were not.  The researchers also assessed the first 6 months' impact of ACE inhibitors on cognitive function of 30 patients newly prescribed ACE inhibitors.  The team observed that the subjects taking centrally active ACE inhibitors experienced marginally slower rates of cognitive decline compared with those not on the drugs (drop of 1.8 points versus 2.12 points on the Quick Mild Cognitive Impairment scores).  The study authors conclude that: “Cognitive scores may improve in the first 6 months after CACE-I treatment and use of CACE-Is is associated with a reduced rate of cognitive decline in patients with dementia.”

Gao Y, O'Caoimh R, Healy L, Kerins DM, Eustace J, Guyatt G, Sammon D, Molloy DW. “Effects of centrally acting ACE inhibitors on the rate of cognitive decline in dementia.”  BMJ Open. 2013 Jul 25;3(7).

  
Irish researchers observe a slower rate of cognitive decline among elderly patients taking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors for blood pressure con
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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