(HealthDay News)  Men who are treated with beta-blockers seem to have fewer microinfarcts and Alzheimer brain lesions and less brain atrophy at autopsy, according to a study released in advance of its presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from March 1623 in San Diego.

Using data from decedents from the community-based Honolulu-Asia Aging Study of Japanese-American men, Lon White, MD, of the Pacific Health Research and Education Institute in Honolulu, and colleagues examined the relationship of brain lesions, identified on autopsy, with beta-blocker treatment. Alzheimer brain lesions at autopsy were measured among 774 autopsied men, 610 of whom had been hypertensive or treated with antihypertensive drugs.

The researchers observed significantly fewer microinfarcts, less brain atrophy, and fewer Alzheimer brain lesions in autopsied subjects treated with beta-blockers as the sole medication, compared to those treated with other medications. Intermediate or marginally fewer brain lesions were seen among autopsied men who had received beta-blockers plus other medications.

“With the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease expected to grow significantly as our population ages, it is increasingly important to identify factors that could delay or prevent the disease,” White said in a statement. “These results are exciting, especially since beta-blockers are a common treatment for high blood pressure.”

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