Vascular health linked to dementia risk

  • A large study found a better cardiovascular health score was linked to a lower dementia risk and slower rates of cognitive decline, with both aspects reducing with each positive factor.
  • A large, long-running study found that higher systolic blood pressure at age 50 was linked to a greater risk of developing dementia, even when below the threshold for hypertension.
  • A large study reports that aggressive lowering of systolic blood pressure reduced the risk of MCI and dementia.
  • A long-running study found that older adults with high levels of arterial stiffness were more likely to develop dementia during the next 15 years.
  • Hypertensive rats exhibited larger ventricles, decreased brain volume, and impaired fluid transport in the brain possibly linked to impaired clearance of amyloid proteins.

Optimal levels of cardiovascular health in older age associated with lower dementia risk

A French study involving 6,626 older adults (65+) found that having optimal levels in more measures of cardiovascular health (nonsmoking, weight, diet, physical activity, cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure) was associated with lower dementia risk and slower rates of cognitive decline. Dementia risk and rates of cognitive decline lowered with each additional metric at the recommended optimal level.

The measures come from an American Heart Association seven-item checklist aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/jn-hol081618.php

Dementia risk increased in 50-year-olds with blood pressure below hypertension threshold

New findings from the large, long-running Whitehall II study revealed that 50-year-olds who had blood pressure that was higher than normal but still below the usual threshold for treating hypertension, were at increased risk of developing dementia in later life.

This increased risk was seen even when they didn’t have other heart or blood vessel-related problems.

The study involved 8,639 people, of whom 32.5% were women. Participants were aged between 35-55 in 1985, and had their blood pressure measured in 1985, 1991, 1997 and 2003. 385 (4.5%) developed dementia by 2017.

Those who had a systolic blood pressure of 130 mmHg or more at the age of 50 had a 45% greater risk of developing dementia than those with a lower systolic blood pressure at the same age. This association was not seen at the ages of 60 and 70, and diastolic blood pressure was not linked to dementia.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/esoc-dri061118.php

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jun/13/dementia-risk-to-50-year-olds-with-raised-blood-pressure-study

Intensive blood pressure control reduces risk of MCI

Preliminary results from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) has found that aggressive lowering of systolic blood pressure produced significant reductions in the risk of MCI, and MCI/dementia.

The randomized clinical trial compared an intensive strategy with a systolic blood pressure goal of less than 120 mm Hg and a standard care strategy targeting a systolic blood pressure goal of less than 140 mm Hg. The study involved 9,361 hypertensive older adults (mean age 67.9).

The intensive treatment group had a 19% lower rate of new cases of MCI, and the combined outcome of MCI plus probable all-cause dementia was 15% lower. Serious adverse events of hypotension, syncope, electrolyte abnormalities, and acute kidney injury or acute renal failure occurred more frequently in the intensive-treatment group (4.7% vs 2.5%).

Participants were seen monthly for the first 3 months and every 3 months thereafter. Medications were adjusted on a monthly basis and lifestyle modification was encouraged. 30% of the participants were African American and 10% were Hispanic.

Preliminary results from 673 participants in the trial revealed that total white matter lesion (WML) volume increased in both treatment groups, but the increase was significantly less in the intensive treatment group. There was no significant difference in total brain volume change.

The findings were reported at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2018 in Chicago.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-07/aa-sib072218.php

Arterial stiffness linked to dementia risk

A long-running study involving 356 older adults (average age 78) found that those with high levels of arterial stiffness were 60% more likely to develop dementia during the next 15 years compared to those with lower levels.

Arterial stiffness is correlated with subclinical brain disease and cardiovascular risk factors, but adjusting for these factors didn't reduce the association between arterial stiffness and dementia — indicating that arterial stiffness and subclinical brain damage markers are independently related to dementia risk.

Arterial stiffening can be reduced by antihypertensive medication and perhaps also healthy lifestyle changes such as exercise. This study found that exercise at an average age of 73 was associated with lower arterial stiffness five years later.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-10/uops-lsi101518.php

Hypertension linked to brain atrophy & poorer waste management

A rat study found that hypertensive rats exhibited larger ventricles, decreased brain volume, and impaired fluid transport. It’s suggested that hypertension interferes with the clearance of macromolecules from the brain, such as amyloid-beta.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-06/sfn-hb061119.php

Reference: 

Samieri C, Perier M, Gaye B, et al. Association of Cardiovascular Health Level in Older Age With Cognitive Decline and Incident Dementia. JAMA. 2018;320(7):657–664. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.11499

Abell, J. et al. 2018. Association between systolic blood pressure and dementia in the Whitehall II cohort study: role of age, duration and threshold used to define hypertension. European Heart Journal. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehy288

[4495] Cui, C., Sekikawa A., Kuller L. H., Lopez O. L., Newman A. B., Kuipers A. L., et al.
(2018).  Aortic Stiffness is Associated with Increased Risk of Incident Dementia in Older Adults.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 66(1), 297 - 306.

[4496] Mortensen, K. Nygaard, Sanggaard S., Mestre H., Lee H., Kostrikov S., Xavier A. L. R., et al.
(2019).  Impaired Glymphatic Transport in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.
Journal of Neuroscience. 39(32), 6365 - 6377.

Related News

Growing evidence points to greater education and mentally stimulating occupations and activities providing a

A study involving 159 older adults (average age 76) has confirmed that the amount of brain tissue in specific regions is a predictor of Alzheimer’s disease development.

Why is diabetes associated with cognitive impairment and even dementia in older adults? New research pinpoints two molecules that trigger a cascade of events that end in poor blood flow and brain atrophy.

A certain level of mental decline in the senior years is regarded as normal, but some fortunate few don’t suffer from any decline at all.

Obesity has been linked to cognitive decline, but a new study involving 300 post-menopausal women has found that higher BMI was associated with higher cognitive scores.

In a small study, 266 older adults with mild cognitive impairment (aged 70+) received a daily dose of 0.8 mg folic acid, 0.5 mg vitamin B12 and 20 mg vitamin B6 or a placebo for two years.

Comparison of 99 chimpanzee brains ranging from 10-51 years of age with 87 human brains ranging from 22-88 years of age has revealed that, unlike the humans, chimpanzee brains showed no sign of shrinkage with age. But the answer may be simple: we live much longer.

A study involving 105 people with Alzheimer's disease and 125 healthy older adults has compared cognitive function and brain shrinkage in those aged 60-75 and those aged 80+.

The brain tends to shrink with age, with different regions being more affected than others. Atrophy of the

For the first time in 27 years, clinical diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease dementia have been revised, and research guidelines updated. They mark a major change in how experts think about and study Alzheimer's disease.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health newsSubscribe to Latest news