Navigation Links
Could Lowering Blood Pressure Help Stop Dementia?
Date:3/17/2010

Major U.S. trial will enroll thousands to examine links between hypertension, Alzheimer's

WEDNESDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- In the ongoing struggle to find treatments -- and maybe one day even a cure -- for dementia, researchers are focusing their attention on high blood pressure, long a culprit for a variety of other ills and an ailment for which many drugs are already available.

This coming fall, the U.S. National Institutes of Health will start enrolling participants in the largest trial thus far to see if lowering blood pressure even below current recommendations can reduce not only the risk of age-related cognitive decline, but also the risk of cardiovascular and kidney diseases.

The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) will involve 7,500 people aged 55 and over who will be followed for a minimum of four years. The NIH is investing $114 million in the endeavor.

"We have a number of effective and safe medications to lower blood pressure," said Dr. Lawrence Fine, chief of the clinical applications and prevention branch in the division of cardiovascular sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. "For the average person right now, the recommendation is a blood pressure of 140/90 or lower. SPRINT will compare that with a goal of 120 as the top number. Will the rate of dementia for people in the lower-goal arm be lower than standard?"

Current clinical guidelines recommend systolic pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) of less than 140 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for healthy adults, and 130 mm Hg for adults with kidney disease or diabetes.

"Hypertension is very easy to medicate and very easy to measure, so they want to see if just by modifying that simple thing they could reduce the incidence of dementia," said Ian Murray, an assistant professor of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in College Station.

The timing is critical, as over the next several decades huge numbers of aging Baby Boomers will develop Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Besides sparing thousands of Americans needless suffering, "if you could reduce that number by 10 percent, your cost savings would be immense," said William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer for the Alzheimer's Association in Chicago.

Although experts have long suspected a link between high blood pressure and dementia, without trial data those suspicions inevitably remain hypotheses.

"What we do know is that there's an association between high blood pressure and a higher rate of dementia -- it's not a large increased risk but there is some increase," Fine said.

"A whole bunch of epidemiologic data says there's a link, and one trial actually showed that if you lowered people's blood pressure it decreased the amount of dementia," added Thies.

That particular trial used blood pressure drugs known as calcium-channel blockers, one in an extensive armamentarium of medications for the condition. Still, no one really knows why treating high blood pressure would lower the odds of dementia if, in fact, it really does.

"We'd really like to know the answer because it would give us our first confirmed pathway to modifying the amount of dementia by treating people with known agents," Thies said. "That would be very important."

The SPRINT trial will randomize participants -- all of whom have systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or higher -- either to a group taking more intensive drug therapy (three or four medications) to try to get their blood pressure under 120, or a control group taking about two medications to maintain blood pressure at the currently recommended 140.

"We may discover lower blood pressure will not reduce the rate of dementia, but if the lower goal did reduce the rate of dementia by 10 or 20 or 30 percent, that would be an important observation because we don't have other good treatments for dementia," Fine said. "SPRINT should provide some additional science to inform us whether lowering blood pressure to the lower goal will, in fact, reduce the rate of developing dementia."

"There are a lot of reasons why we ought to control blood pressure anyway, but this gives us another very important reason," Thies added.

More information

There's more on high blood pressure at the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Ian Murray, Ph.D., assistant professor, neuroscience and experimental therapeutics, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station; Lawrence Fine, M.D., DrPH, chief, clinical applications and prevention branch, division of cardiovascular sciences, U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; William Thies, Ph.D., chief medical and scientific officer, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Public Health Reports Will Host A Meet the Author! Webcast Entitled How Healthy Could a State Be
2. Cellular pathway could provide evidence of how cancer and obesity are linked
3. Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
4. Medicines Future Could Lie in Each Patients Genome
5. Bodys Response to Foods Smell, Taste Could Be Diabetes Risk Factor
6. Slouching Stars at the Oscars: Could the PostureNOW Posture Brace Have Helped Miley?
7. Fewer platelets could be used for some cancer and bone-marrow transplantation patients
8. Knowing Your Kidney Number Could Save Your Life
9. Program could help teens control asthma
10. New method to grow arteries could lead to biological bypass for heart disease
11. Air Travel Could Raise Risk for Heartbeat Irregularities
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, ... work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding emergency ... its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. Ogunleye ... M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. Ogunleye ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the ... In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, ... just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood ... something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a ... children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... up with the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive ... care to seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... WAYNE, Pa. , June 23, 2016 ... provider, will launch its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket ... DIA Meeting held on June 26 – 30, 2016 in ... 6.0, the first electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its ... DIA Booth #715. Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Revolutionary technology includes ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing ... Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing ... IoT devices.      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ... number of ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Experian Health, ... and transforming the patient payment and care ... innovative new products and services that will ... revenue cycle offerings. These award-winning solutions will ... workflows, remain compliant in an ever-changing environment ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: