How lowering blood pressure affects Alzheimer’s dementia risk? Researchers Wednesday reported that aggressive treatment of high blood pressure can prevent dementia and could also reduce the risk of memory and thinking problems.
This is the first time researchers have shown a link between the blood pressure treatment and Alzheimer’s disease.
For the study, researchers recruited people and they treated to a top blood pressure reading of 120 were 19 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment. The investigators also found that these people were 15 percent less likely to eventually develop cognitive decline and dementia.
“This is really the first time we have been able to show in a clinical trial that aggressive management of these cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure can reduce a person’s risk for cognitive impairment,” Dr. Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and operations at the Alzheimer’s Association said.
Alzheimer’s is the current sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth-leading cause of death among those ages 65 and older. Though, there’s no cure. Doctors prescribe traditional medicines such as Aricept and Namenda that just eases symptoms. Many studies recommend that a healthy lifestyle can lower the risk.
More than normal blood pressure can damage blood vessels and have an association with a higher risk for dementia. But it’s unclear whether lowering pressure will reduce that risk. The new study was conducted to test this.
“These results support the need to maintain well-controlled blood pressure, especially for persons over the age of 50,” suggests Dr. Jeff Williamson of the Wake Forest School of Medicine and colleagues.