Taking newer blood pressure drugs cuts the risk of Alzheimer's by up to 50 per cent, British scientists say. Patients on these new drugs are also less likely to develop vascular dementia ”“ a condition caused by problems in blood supply to the brain ”“ than those on older medication. The first study of its kind opens the door for a treatment that might delay, slow or even prevent dementia. People with high blood pressure are more at risk of developing Alzheimer's and similar diseases, but some are protected by the drugs they take, the study shows. Bristol University researchers investigated medication which targets a biochemical pathway called the renin angiotensin These drugs ”“ known as ARBs and ACE inhibitors ”“ have become increasingly prescribed in the past ten years. They include ramipril, captopril, losartan, candesartan and valsartan. Scientists analysed data from 40,000 patients aged over 60 who were being treated for hypertension, or high blood pressure. One quarter had a type of dementia. The biggest benefit was for patients taking ARBs, with a 53 per cent drop in risk, compared with patients on ACE inhibitors, who had a 24 per cent lower risk of Alzheimer's or similar condition.