Dementia is an umbrella term, usually of a chronic or progressive nature, causing deterioration in cognitive function. Associated with memory loss and decline other in other thinking skills, it is just not restricted to that. Problems with language, decision making, judgement, abstract thinking, struggling in taking the initiative, misplacing things, difficulties in performing routine daily tasks, a problem in remembering the names of day-to-day objects, issues in sensing direction, and frequent mood swings are some of the symptoms associated with Dementia. So, Dementia, besides affecting memory, also affects thinking and reasoning ability of a person as well.
Dementia is more common in older ages. While people do lose some of their neurons while they age, but people with dementia experience far more significant loss. It is not a normal part of ageing, just like the pain in the knee. According to WHO, around 50 million people have dementia, and nearly 10 million new cases are registered every year worldwide. Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia, alone contributes to 60–70% of cases.
What does the Anti hypertensive drugs do?
After the anti-amyloid strategy failed in treating Alzheimer’s, new approaches were opted by many Scientists to tackle the condition. A recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease was to investigate the relationship between antihypertensive drug use and dementia in elderly persons followed in general practices in Germany. The study, which comprised 12,405 patients with dementia and 12,405 patients without dementia, revealed that the incidence of Dementia as a function of the use of antihypertensive drugs (i.e. diuretics, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors, and angiotensin II receptor blockers). The use of angiotensin II receptor blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and beta blockers was associated with a decrease in dementia incidence. In patients treated with calcium channel blockers, increasing the duration of treatment decreased the incidence of dementia.
The use of antihypertensive drugs does not guarantee that dementia will never occur, but lowers down the Dementia incidence. Although, researchers are further trying to gain a better understanding of different medications such as lipid-lowering drugs, anti-depressants, and others associated with a decreased risk of Dementia.