Antihypertensives That Stimulate vs Inhibit Type 2 and 4 Angiotensin II Receptors Decrease Dementia 

Marcum et al in JAMA New Open (2023) found that in “57,773 Medicare beneficiaries, initiation of antihypertensive medications that stimulate vs inhibit type 2 and 4 angiotensin II receptors was associated with a statistically significant 16% lower risk of incident dementia, over a median of 6.9 years of follow-up.”

“Angiotensin II receptor type 2 and 4–stimulating antihypertensive medications (hereafter, stimulating medications) included: Angiotensin II receptor type 1 blockers, dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, and thiazide diuretics.
Angiotensin II receptor type 2 and 4–inhibiting antihypertensive medications (hereafter, inhibiting medications) included: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, ?-blockers, and nondihydropyridine calcium channel blockers.”

Editors Note: If you have hypertension and are at risk for cognitive decline, know that your choice of effective antihypertensive drugs can lead to better cognitive outcomes. Drugs that stimulate the angiotensin II receptor type 2 and 4 help prevent dementia. These drugs include:
ARB type 1, dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, and thiazide diuretics. (Good guys)

Those that inhibit Angiotensin II receptors types 2 and 4 do not prevent dementia. These drugs include:
ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers. (Bad guys)

Talk with your doc about drugs equally for blood pressure control but those that also have benefits for ultimate preservation of cognition.

Danish Population-Based Study Identifies New Drug Candidates for Bipolar Disorder

July 17, 2020 · Posted in Potential Treatments · Comment 
Aspirin was one of the drugs that looked promising as a potential treatment for bipolar disorder, along with statins and angiotensin agents.

At the 2020 meeting of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders, Lars Kessing of the Psychiatric Center Copenhagen described a study that examined incidence of bipolar disorder among a total of 1,605,365 participants who purchased one of six common medications over a ten-year-period, with the goal of identifying drugs that might be repurposed to prevent or treat bipolar illness. The drugs were non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen), low-dose aspirin, high-dose aspirin, statins, allopurinol, and angiotensin.

Because Denmark has population-based healthcare data, the researchers were able to identify participants who purchased these medications between 2005 and 2015, and could also assess these participants for two outcome measures: 1) whether they had received a diagnosis of mania or bipolar disorder as an inpatient or outpatient at a psychiatric hospital, and 2) a combined measure of whether they had received a diagnosis for mania or bipolar disorder in any setting or initiated lithium use. The data on these participants were compared to a random sample of 30% of the population of Demark.

Kessing and colleagues found that among those with steady use of low-dose aspirin, statins (used to lower blood cholesterol), and angiotensin agents (which can lower blood pressure), there was a significant decreased incidence of mania/bipolar disorder on both outcome measures.

In contrast, among those taking non-aspirin NSAIDs and high-dose aspirin, there was an increased incidence of bipolar disorder. (There were no statistically significant findings with regard to allopurinol, which is used to treat gout and kidney stones.)

The researchers concluded that population-based studies such as these can be used to identify drugs that may have secondary benefits, in this case low-dose aspirin, statins, and angiotensin agents, which have already been identified as potentially therapeutic in other research.