Problem: The patient is a woman, 57 years old. She used to have a blood
pressure around 200/100. Both her mother and her three siblings had/have
hypertension. Her mother developed dementia at the age of 75. None of her
siblings or other relatives has this problem.
She started with carvedilol (a combined beta-
and alfa-blocking agent) 25 mg once daily in december -93. Since then
her BP has been well regulated with values about 130-140/80-90. Before
she started with this treatment she used to have problem with headaches,
but this problem diassappeared when her BP was normalized. Around the
same time she started to get problems with her shorttime memory, and slowly
she has developed a clinical picture of dementia. The development is more like
Alzheimer rather than vascular dementia.
Is there a possibility that the normalizing of her BP has led to the
development of her dementia, and that her "normal" BP in spite of her age,
is too low and has caused her problem ?
Or is dementia a possible pharmacological side effect of treatment with
carvedilol or other beta-blocking agents ?
Oyvind Romo, M.D.