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High Blood Pressure May Add to Alzheimer's Risk, Study Finds
Date:3/18/2013

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For the study, which was published online March 18 in the journal JAMA Neurology, the researchers looked at 118 people with normal brain function who were between 47 and 89 years old. They divided the patients into those with high blood pressure and those without high blood pressure, and those with and without the genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's. The participants also were given brain scans to look for plaques.

The researchers found people with both high blood pressure and the genetic risk factor had significantly more brain plaque than those with only one or no risk factors.

Moreover, those with the highest blood pressure and the gene mutation tended to have the most plaque, they found. The study did not, however, prove a cause-and-effect relationship between high blood pressure, this genetic mutation and increased brain plaque.

High blood pressure is highly responsive to lifestyle changes and medical treatment, and it may provide a future target for delaying or preventing Alzheimer's disease, the researchers noted.

More information

For more information on Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association.

SOURCES: Karen Rodrigue, Ph.D., assistant professor, behavioral and brain sciences, University of Texas at Dallas; Sam Gandy, M.D., associate director, Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, New York City; March 18, 2013, JAMA Neurology, online


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