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Drugs Aging. 2006;23(9):723-31.

Antihypertensive medication is associated with less cognitive impairment in the very old with apolipoprotein-E epsilon4 allele.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, NorwayInnlandet Hospital-Sanderud, Ottestad, Norway.



High and low blood pressure and apolipoprotein (Apo)-E epsilon4 alleles have been shown to be associated with dementia of the Alzheimer's type. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between Apo-E epsilon4 allele status and the effect of antihypertensive treatment on cognitive performance in persons > or =80 years of age.


A sample of 258 individuals 80-102 years of age was studied. Associations between the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score and treatment with antihypertensive medication, blood pressure, Apo-E polymorphism, sex, age and education were assessed. Patients treated with antihypertensive drugs typically used two to ten different medications.


Individuals with no Apo-E epsilon4 alleles who were not treated with antihypertensive medications had a significantly higher diastolic blood pressure than other participants in the study but no cognitive deficits. Participants who had at least one Apo-E epsilon4 allele who were not treated with antihypertensive medications scored significantly lower on the MMSE compared with other participants in the study.


Individuals with an Apo-E epsilon4 allele who were not treated with antihypertensive medication showed the poorest cognitive performance. This could suggest that individuals with the Apo-E epsilon4 allele may benefit cognitively from treatment with antihypertensive drugs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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