Psychiatric care for elderly people with dementia may be boosted by certain types of blood pressure drugs, which have been found to protect against impaired cognitive function.
This is the finding of a study carried out by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
They found that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors that travel across the blood-brain barrier appear to lessen the inflammation of the brain that is believed to cause dementia.
Dr Kaycee Sink, lead author of the study, geriatrician and assistant professor of internal medicine, commented: "Our study found that all blood pressure medications may not be equal when it comes to reducing the risk of dementia in patients with hypertension.
"ACE inhibitors have been shown to be beneficial to the heart and kidneys, and this study gives evidence that they may also be beneficial to the brain - at least the ones that are able to get into the brain."
Dementia translates to mean 'deprived of mind' and is caused by cognitive degeneration.