Antihypertensive drugs can affect the central nervous system of the brain, preventing it from functioning properly, reveals a recent study.

The University of Washington, in Seattle, which examined more than one thousand men and women with hypertension over age 65, found that elderly patients taking calcium-channel blockers or loop diuretics for hypertension had more white matter in the brain than those taking beta-blockers.

However, it was not only the scans that convinced researchers. Their findings were backed up by a mental examination, in which people taking beta-blockers did better in the test than those on other antihypertension drugs.

These findings could be of extreme importance for the millions of older adults who take these drugs (Lancet, 1997; 350: 1753).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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