Could ‘aggressively’ attacking high blood pressure prevent cognitive decline?

1-29-2019 is rheumatoid arthritis hiding your high blood pressure x
Image credit: Thinkstock

Some five million Americans live with dementia, most often Alzheimer’s disease. And it’s almost certain that as the general population gets older, dementia will become more common. But a new study published [January 28] offers some encouraging, if mixed, news.

It might be possible to prevent cognitive decline by aggressively treating a person’s high blood pressure, the study found. Unfortunately, it’s not clear whether lowering blood pressure can do the same for dementia.

High blood pressure is a risk factor for all sorts of conditions, including cognitive decline. But while scientists largely accept that keeping our blood pressure in check should help prevent dementia, we don’t currently have concrete evidence from human trials that any potential intervention can lower dementia rates.

Related article:  After another failed clinical trial, new Alzheimer’s treatment attacks disease from ‘different angle’

[T]here’s also a big caveat to the study. Ultimately, while there was a small reduction in new cases of full-blown dementia in the aggressive treatment group, it wasn’t a statistically significant difference from the group given standard care.

[W]hile the study isn’t a home run for dementia prevention, it’s a promising lead. In light of the findings, the Alzheimer’s Association announced [January 28] that it would help fund SPRINT MIND 2.0, an extension of the original study that should provide two more years of follow-up data.

Read full, original post: Major New Study Finds Lowering Blood Pressure Can Prevent Cognitive Decline, but Questions Remain

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