Better Blood Pressure Control = Less Dementia
New research suggests that keeping your blood pressure under control might help reduce the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with or without dementia. Preliminary study results presented at the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in July indicated that maintaining systolic blood pressure (the top number) under 120 may lower the risk of mild cognitive impairment by 19 percent compared to people in the study who lowered their systolic pressure to 140. Reducing systolic blood pressure to less than 120 lowered the dementia risk by 15 percent.
The research included more than 9,300 seniors who were at risk of developing heart disease or already had heart problems. A second study, published in the journal Neurology on July 11, followed some 1,300 seniors aged 59 to 102 until their deaths. Autopsies showed evidence of Alzheimer’s in the brains of 48 percent of the group, a finding that was more frequent among those whose blood pressure had been higher than average over the previous years. Although none of these results will be the last word on this subject, they do suggest that keeping your blood pressure under control may benefit your mind as well as your heart.
Jeff D. Williamson, M.D., “Study Shows that Intensive Blood Pressure Control Reduces Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and the combined risk of MCI and Dementia.” Presentation at 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Chicago, IL, July 25, 2018.
Zoe Arvanitakis et al, “Late-life blood pressure association with cerebrovascular and Alzheimer disease pathology.” Neurology, July 11, 2018, DOI: doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000005951
Also in this week’s bulletin: