Article originally posted at Alzheimer Research Forum.

17 September 2012. A commonly prescribed anti-hypertensive medication may reduce amyloid deposition in the brain, according to a paper published online September 10 in Archives of Neurology. To reach this conclusion, researchers led by Ihab Hajjar at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, correlated medical and neuropathological data from almost 900 cognitively impaired elderly people who had suffered from hypertension before they died. Patients who had taken a particular class of hypertension drug, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), did best on the assessment. They had significantly less amyloid pathology than people who were on other anti-hypertensives, or whose hypertension was not treated, the authors report. These people were also about a third less likely to have received a neuropathological diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease than the other groups, and appeared to have been in better cognitive health. However, because these data are correlative and not prospective, they need to be interpreted with caution, scientists stressed. Hajjar and colleagues are now planning a prospective, five-year clinical trial to see if ARBs can improve cognitive outcomes.