The importance of optimal blood pressure control for preventing or reducing the impairment of vascular and cognitive functions is well known. However, the reversibility of early alterations in vascular and cognitive functions through antihypertensive agents is under-investigated. In this study, we evaluated the influence of 3 months of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition treatment on the morphological and functional arterial wall and cognitive performance changes in 30 newly diagnosed primary hypertensive patients.Common carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) were detected by ultrasonography. Arterial stiffness indicated by augmentation index (AIx) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) was assessed by arteriography. Cognitive functions were assessed by neuropsychological examination.The executive function overall score was significantly higher at 3-month follow-up than at baseline (median, 0.233 (IQR, 0.447) vs -0.038 (0.936); P = .001). Three-month ACE inhibition did not produce significant improvement in IMT, FMD, AIx and PWV values. Significant negative associations were revealed between IMT and complex attention (r = -0.598, P = .0008), executive function (r = -0.617, P = .0005), and immediate memory (r = -0.420, P = .026) overall scores at follow-up. AIx had significant negative correlations with complex attention (r = -0.568, P = .001), executive function (r = -0.374, P = .046), and immediate memory (r = -0.507, P = .005). PWV correlated significantly and negatively with complex attention (r = -0.490, P = .007).Timely and effective antihypertensive therapy with ACE inhibitors has significant beneficial effects on cognitive performance in as few as 3 months. Early ACE inhibition may have an important role in the reversal of initial impairments of cognitive function associated with hypertension-induced vascular alterations.
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