Washington: Drugs commonly used to treat Alzheimer`s disease may have another benefit: preventing heart attacks and premature death, a new study has suggested.Professor Peter Nordstrom, of Umea University, Umea, Sweden, and colleagues reviewed records on 7,073 Alzheimer`s patients taking cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs), such as donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine, which are used for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer`s disease. Side-effects of ChEIs include a beneficial effect on the vagus nerve, which controls the rate at which the heart beats, and some experimental studies have suggested that ChEIs could also have anti-inflammatory properties. They found that those who were on ChEIs had a 36 percent reduced risk of death from any cause, a 38 percent reduced risk of a myocardial infarction (heart attack) and a 26 percent reduced risk of death from cardiovascular causes such as stroke compared to people not taking ChEIs.
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