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New Study Compares Hypertension Drugs for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

ARBs and ACE inhibitors may slow brain degeneration (January 28)

A new clinical trial is investigating the potential for hypertension drugs to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study will be led by researchers at the University of Toronto.

Different classes of antihypertensive drugs may have different effects on the brain beyond just blood pressure control. In the new study, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) will be compared for the treatment of hypertension in patients with AD.

ARBs, but not ACE inhibitors, have been shown to improve cognition in animal studies and to interfere with disease processes involved in the development of AD. Clinical trials designed to directly compare these two antihypertensive drug classes in patients with AD have not been performed.

“Our exploratory clinical study will compare ARBs versus ACE inhibitors in a ‘face-off’ to slow brain degeneration in people with Alzheimer’s disease who are already taking medications to control blood pressure,” said lead investigator Dr. Sandra Black. “We will use brain imaging, and measure cognition and quality of life over a one-year period to compare the rate of brain shrinkage in the people on ACE inhibitors versus ARBs.”

If positive, the study could lead to practice-changing implications, especially for hypertension control in AD, Black said.

Source: PR Newswire; January 28, 2014.

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