Elevated Plasma Aβ42 in Cognitively Impaired Individuals Taking ACE Inhibitor Antihypertensives

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Accumulating evidence suggests that the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I) medication protects against cognitive decline in the elderly patients. We investigated whether ACE-I use was associated with higher plasma levels of amyloid-β (Aβ), possibly indicating improved Aβ clearance from brain to blood.


We measured and compared plasma concentrations of Aβ42, Aβ40, and creatinine in cognitively impaired individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment, probable Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia, and mixed probable AD/vascular dementia.


Plasma Aβ42 levels and Aβ42/Aβ40 ratios of participants taking ACE-Is (n = 11) significantly exceeded (t = 3.1, df = 19, P = .006; U = 24, P = .029, respectively) those not taking ACE-Is (n = 10).


This study is the first to show an association between ACE-I use and increased plasma Aβ42 level and Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio in cognitively impaired individuals. Future investigations should assess whether a possible ACE-I-induced increase in plasma Aβ42 indicates improved Aβ42 clearance from brain that contributes to protection from cognitive decline.

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