Dementia link to BP8th July 2008
Research has shown that keeping blood pressure down as people become older could have a dramatic effect on reducing the danger of developing dementia.
A study by researchers at Imperial College London has suggested that treatment with blood pressure medication could reduce the risk of dementia by 13%.
It is believed that 25% of the population has high blood pressure. The connection between high blood pressure and dementia is not completely understood.
Scientists think that high blood pressure could stop the brain getting the blood and oxygen it needs to function properly.
This restriction is known as "vascular dementia" and is suffered by one quarter of dementia patients.
Alzheimer's disease does not have the same "obvious link to bloodflow", but researchers think blood pressure could contribute to some incidences of the condition.
The study, published in Lancet Neurology, examined elderly subjects who had high blood pressure "to see if those who were receiving treatment were less likely to develop any form of dementia compared with those left untreated".
The trial was finished early when it became apparent "the benefits of treatment in terms of reducing strokes and heart disease" were clear and should be offered to all patients.
In combination with other studies, treatment with blood pressure medication revealed a reduction of 13% in the risk of dementia.
Research by the Alzheimer's Society has shown that vascular dementia was "six times more likely to develop in people who had high blood pressure in their 40s and 50s".
They estimate that if this problem was treated it could potentially prevent 15,000 deaths per year.
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Title: Dementia link to BP
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 7423
Date Added: 8th Jul 2008