BLOOD PRESSURE AND ALZHEIMER’S
ANCHOR LEAD: SIMPLY MANAGING BLOOD PRESSURE MAY HELP SLOW PROGRESSION OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
People who have high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease experience more rapid cognitive decline than those whose blood pressure is normal, a Johns Hopkins study has shown. Michelle Mielke, the study’s lead author, says the finding may have important clinical implications.
MIELKE: Right now, there are treatments for Alzheimer’s disease but it’s not effective for a lot of people so maybe about 30% of people it helps reduce their decline. So this is another alternative for those people for whom those dementia medications aren’t effective for or they can’t tolerate them. Treating blood pressure is relatively safe, it’s easy, it’s something you can measure at the general practitioner’s office, and I think it also highlights the important need to continue to follow these vascular factors once a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s diseases. :29
Testing and managing blood pressure should be standard practice for everyone, but especially for older folks. More than 90% of people are likely to develop high blood pressure as they age. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.