Dr. Sevil Yasar, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, found about 3,000 people age 75 and older with normal cognition who used diuretics, angiotensin-1 receptor blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors showed a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease dementia by at least 50 percent.
"Our study was able to replicate previous findings, however, we were also able to show that the beneficial effect of these blood pressure medications are maybe in addition to blood pressure control, and could help clinicians in selecting an anti-hypertensive medication based not only on blood pressure control, but also on additional benefits."
In addition, diuretics were associated with 50 percent reduced risk in those in the group with mild cognitive impairment.
Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers did not show a link to reduced risk, the scientists said.
"Identifying new pharmacological treatments to prevent or delay the onset of AD dementia is critical given the dearth of effective interventions to date," Yasar said.