US researchers believe they may have found a new drug for reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
The study claims that anti-hypertensive medications, which are used to lower high blood pressure, could also reduce the risk of contracting Alzheimer's.
The study's co-author, Peter Zandi, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University, wrote in the Archives of Neurology that trials showed "a 41 per cent reduction in cognitive decline associated with stroke and a 34 per cent reduction in dementia among patients with recurrent stroke."
He added that the greatest effect was seen with potassium-sparing diuretics, which were found to offer over a 70 per cent reduction in risk of developing the disease.
Calcium channel blockers lowered risk by around half, the study found, although other drugs for the treatment of hypertension were thought to have little effect.
The researchers are unsure as to why some medications proved more effective than others but it is thought the findings may prompt a clinical study in the near future.