Carl Sadowsky, M.D., FAAN
Benefits of Controlling Blood Pressure
Controlled blood pressure is advantageous to our overall health and longevity. In addition to providing benefits to our cardiovascular system, optimal blood pressure management also improves cerebrovascular health – which may lower the risk of dementia, stroke, and other diseases of the brain. In fact, many prospective cohort studies have shown a link between lower blood pressure and better cognitive health, which includes a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s-type dementia. To further examine the relationship between blood pressure and this type of dementia, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) investigated a systemic review of several randomized controlled trials by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Study Design & Results
Although NASEM found that most of the four randomized controlled trials they looked at yielded inconsistent results on whether controlled blood pressure that was sustained exerted a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s-type dementia, one trial had positive results. The Systolic Hypertension in Europe trial (Syst-Eur) showed that, compared to placebo, treatment of isolated systolic hypertension in those sixty years or older lowered the occurrence of dementia by fifty percent (Marshall, 2017).
NASEM, however, pointed out that studies which were not randomized controlled trials demonstrated a stronger, more consistent relationship between regulated blood pressure and a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s-type dementia. It has been suggested that randomized controlled trials on this subject may be impractical for reaching a firm conclusion, so more trials employing different methods may help researchers determine the strength of this link (Marshall, 2017).
Interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s research? Please call 561-296-3824. The Premiere Research Institute in West Palm Beach regularly conducts clinical research studies in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease. To find out more about these studies click here or sign up for their newsletter to keep informed about the newest treatments, articles, and research that are being conducted in the field of Alzheimer’s.
Marshall, A. (2017). Which Interventions Can Slow Cognitive Decline or Prevent Dementia? Neurology Reviews,25(10), 9-10.