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Treating Heart Disease Risk Factors May Slow Alzheimer's Disease,Progression

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Yan Deschaintre, MD, FRCP(C), of the Centre Memoire, Hopital Roger Salengro, Lille, France and colleagues investigated whether vascular risk factors treatment slows cognitive decline once Alzheimer's and/or vascular dementia is already evident.

The researchers analysed medical records of patients attending their memory clinic for the first time between 1997 and 2003 inclusively who had a final diagnosis of Alzhiemer's, Alzhiemer's with cerebro-vascular disease, or vascular dementia. Vascular risk factors sought were high blood pressure, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and atherosclerotic vascular disease. The patients were considered treated if they received an antihypertensive, an oral antihyperglycemic or insulin, a statin or a fibrate, an antiplatelet, or an anticoagulant.

Among the 891 dementia patients studied, the researchers found that those who had their vascular risk factors treated declined less than those who had not. For people with Alzheimer's without signs of vascular dementia, vascular risk factors treatment reduced yearly cognitive decline by almost one third, according to the mini-mental state evaluation (MMSE) score.

"That means the patients whose vascular risk factors were treated declined at a slower rate such that it took them three years to decline as much as untreated patients did after two years," Deschaintre said.

"Most of the social and financial burden caused by Alzheimer's and dementia is generated by the later, more severe stages of the disease," Deschaintre said. "By slowing dementia progression, vascular risk factors treatment may delay the severe stages and have a significant impact on reducing the burden of dementia."

Atherosclerosis Surgery and Stroke or TIA Associated with Increased Risk of MCI

Carotid endarterectomy is performed when a major blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked as a result of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis in blood vessels in the brain reduces
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