Effects of Cardiovascular Medications on Rate of Functional Decline in Alzheimer Disease

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.
The American journal of geriatric psychiatry: official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.24). 12/2008; 16(11):883-92. DOI: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e318181276a
Source: PubMed


Evidence suggests that cardiovascular medications, including statins and antihypertensive medications, may delay cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer dementia (AD). We examined the association of cardiovascular medication use and rate of functional decline in a population-based cohort of individuals with incident AD.
In the Dementia Progression Study of the Cache County Study on Memory, Health, and Aging, 216 individuals with incident AD were identified and followed longitudinally with in-home visits for a mean of 3.0 years and 2.1 follow-up visits. The Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) was completed at each follow-up. Medication use was inventoried during in-home visits. Generalized least-squares random-effects regression was performed with CDR Sum of Boxes (CDR-Sum) as the outcome and cardiovascular medication use as the major predictors.
CDR-Sum increased an average of 1.69 points annually, indicating a steady decline in functioning. After adjustment for demographic variables and the baseline presence of cardiovascular conditions, use of statins (p = 0.03) and beta-blockers (p = 0.04) was associated with a slower annual rate of increase in CDR-Sum (slower rate of functional decline) of 0.75 and 0.68 points respectively, while diuretic use was associated with a faster rate of increase in CDR-Sum (p = 0.01; 0.96 points annually). Use of calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, digoxin, or nitrates did not affect the rate of functional decline.
In this population-based study of individuals with incident AD, use of statins and beta-blockers was associated with delay of functional decline. Further studies are needed to confirm these results and to determine whether treatment with these medications may help delay AD progression.

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Available from: Michelle M Mielke
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    • "Among medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with dementia, 30% also have a diagnosis of ischemic heart disease (IHD) [1], and as many as 54% have had a myocardial infarction at some point in their lives [2], making them candidates for the use of medications for the secondary prevention of IHD. There appears to be a link between cardiovascular disease (CVD) [3] and the development of clinical dementia, and the aggressive treatment of CVD may delay or reduce the risk of developing dementia [4–6]. For example, studies show an inverse relationship between statin use and risk for Alzheimer's disease, possibly due to the role that lipids may play in the development of this disease [7, 8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Dementia and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are frequently comorbid. The presence of dementia may have an effect on how CVD is treated. Objective. To examine the effect of dementia on the use of four medications recommended for secondary prevention of ischemic heart disease (IHD): angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-blockers, lipid-lowering medications, and antiplatelet medications. Design. Retrospective analysis of data from the Cardiovascular Health Study: Cognition Study. Setting and Subjects. 1,087 older adults in four US states who had or developed IHD between 1989 and 1998. Methods. Generalized estimating equations to explore the association between dementia and the use of guideline-recommended medications for the secondary prevention of IHD. Results. The length of follow-up for the cohort was 8.7 years and 265 (24%) had or developed dementia during the study. Use of medications for the secondary prevention of IHD for patients with and without dementia increased during the study period. In models, subjects with dementia were not less likely to use any one particular class of medication but were less likely to use two or more classes of medications as a group (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.36-0.99). Conclusions. Subjects with dementia used fewer guideline-recommended medications for the secondary prevention of IHD than those without dementia.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of aging research
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    • "The present findings and those from both the CHS (Sink et al. 2009) and the CACHE county cohort (Khachaturian et al. 2006; Rosenberg et al. 2008) do not support the existence of a class effect of ACE-Is in protecting against cognitive decline. Other studies suggested that ACE-Is as a class had an elevated HR (Khachaturian et al. 2006), which to some extent agrees with the trends that we observed with the widely used captopril. "
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    ABSTRACT: Midlife elevated blood pressure and hypertension contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and overall dementia. We sought to estimate whether angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-Is) reduced the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in cognitively normal individuals. In the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging, we evaluated 1,445 cognitively normal individuals treated for hypertension but without congestive heart failure from a population-based sample from eight Italian municipalities with a 3.5-year follow-up. MCI was diagnosed with current clinical criteria. Dementia, AD, and vascular dementia were diagnosed based on DSM-IIIR criteria, NINCDS-ADRDA criteria, and ICD-10 codes. Among 873 hypertension-treated cognitively normal subjects, there was no significant association between continuous exposure to all ACE-Is and risk of incident MCI compared with other antihypertensive drugs [hazard ratio (HR), 0.45, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.16-1.28]. Captopril exposure alone did not significantly modify the risk of incident MCI (HR, 1.80, 95% CI, 0.39-8.37). However, the enalapril sub-group alone (HR, 0.17, 95% CI, 0.04 -0.84) or combined with the lisinopril sub-group (HR, 0.27, 95% CI, 0.08-0.96), another ACE-I structurally related to enalapril and with similar potency, were associated with a reduced risk of incident MCI. Study duration exposure to ACE-Is as a "class" was not associated with incident MCI in older hypertensive adults. However, within-class differences linked to different chemical structures and/or drug potencies may exist, with a possible effect of the enalapril and lisinopril sub-groups in reducing the risk of incident MCI.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Age
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    • "This has led to the consideration of these drugs as potential treatments for AD [18] [19] [20]. However, there remains uncertainty as to whether or not all of these drugs are protective [17] [21] [22] [23] and which sub-types are most likely to be helpful in AD [12] [17] [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Reducing excessive accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a key objective of most AD therapies, and inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) may delay onset or progression of AD. The effects of an ACE-inhibitor (ACE-I) and an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) on Aβ and tau pathology in a triple transgenic (3xTGAD) mouse model of AD were investigated. 9-10month 3xTGAD mice were treated with ARB, ACE-I or vehicle for 6 months. Mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) was measured periodically and mice were assessed behaviourally. Aβ, phospho-tau, amyloid precursor protein (APP) and ACE activity were analysed. MABP was significantly reduced at 2 weeks and 3 months in the ACE-I group and at 3 months in the ARB group, compared to vehicle. Neither drug altered performance of 3xTGAD mice in Morris Water Maze or T-maze, nor were Aβ, tau immunolabelling or APP levels altered. ACE-I significantly reduced ACE activity in kidney. Prolonged treatment with ACE-I or ARB does not affect Aβ or phospho-tau accumulation in brains of aged 3xTGAD mice.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · American Journal of Translational Research
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