High blood pressure is an important risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia so it would make sense to think that medication for blood-pressure could also have a beneficial effect on dementia. Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine looked into the effect of blood-pressure drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors). Some are called centrally-acting because they can cross over from the bloodstream into the brain, where, it is thought, they reduce the inflammation that can contribute to the development of Alzheiemer's disease. The researchers studied 1,074 people who were free of dementia at the start of the study and who were being treated for hypertension. They found that the participants who took centrally-acting ACE inhibitors saw an average of 65% less cognitive decline per year of exposure compared to people taking other blood-pressure medication. However, non centrally-active ACE inhibitors were associated with an increased risk of dementia and people who took them were more likely to have difficulty perfoming daily activities. Participants who took these drugs for three years were at 73% greater risk of developing dementia.