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Dementia and carvedilol

Psyk. pol. Blafjell at telepost.no
Wed Feb 28 08:09:49 EST 1996

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.

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