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Study: Beta-blockers may ward off dementia

A new study has found a surprising connection between two diseases. It seems that by fighting one, you may also be fighting the other.
(ABC) -- A new study has found a surprising connection between two diseases. It seems that by fighting one, you may also be fighting the other.

Millions of people take the drugs known as beta-blockers to treat high blood pressure. A study presented to the American Academy of Neurology finds that they may also be reducing their risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Researchers looked at 774 elderly Japanese-American men. Those whose blood pressure was treated with beta-blockers showed fewer brain abnormalities after death than those who took other blood pressure drugs or had no treatment.

Those men who had taken beta-blockers also had significantly less shrinkage in their brains.

Previous research has shown that high blood pressure in mid-life is a strong risk factor for dementia.

The study’s authors say the result could be an important step toward delaying or preventing dementia.

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