According to a new study, a class of hypertension medication called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors may may help protect older adults from declines in memory and other cognitive function typical in Alzheimer’s disease.
The study found a link between taking centrally active ACE inhibitors and lower rates of mental decline as measured by the Modified Mini-Mental State Exam, a test that evaluates memory, language, abstract reasoning and other cognitive functions. For each year that participants were exposed to ACE inhibitors that cross the blood brain barrier, the decline in test results was 50 percent lower than the decline in people taking other kinds of high blood pressure pills.
ACE inhibitors are believed to help slow cognitive decline by decreasing inflammation in the brain. This class of drugs include captropril (Capoten®), fosinopril (Monopril®), lisinoprillinks (Prinivil® or Zestri®), perindopril (Aceon®), ramipril (Altace®) and trandolapril (Mavik®).