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High Blood Pressure Linked to Dementia

Posted on Jan 25, 2010
Flickr / joey.parsons

Before we scare you, keep in mind that if everyone in America who experienced high blood pressure—that’s about a third of us—got dementia, you would know about it. However, new research suggests that the relationship between hypertension and dementia is more pronounced and alarming than doctors previously understood and the National Institutes of Health is looking into so-called white matter damage in the brain.

Scientists already knew that high blood pressure impaired the ability of brain cells to communicate, but new data shows that people may suffer from multiple forms of dementia simultaneously. The good news is that high blood pressure can be easier to control than other contributing causes of dementia. It should also be noted that we’re talking about research, here, and not every study agrees. The NIH is planning some major research of its own into the subject.  —PZS

AP via Yahoo:

In a flurry of new research, scientists scanned people’s brains to show hypertension fuels a kind of scarring linked to later development of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Those scars can start building up in middle age, decades before memory problems will appear.

The evidence is strong enough that the National Institutes of Health soon will begin enrolling thousands of hypertension sufferers in a major study to see if aggressive treatment — pushing blood pressure lower than currently recommended — better protects not just their hearts but their brains.

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By truthbeout, January 28, 2010 at 3:13 am Link to this comment

More research required? The link between blood pressure and dementia has been reported widely and as the article here highlights - blood pressure is easier to control (currently) than dementia.

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By danwalter, January 27, 2010 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would trust nothing out of Johns Hopkins:

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By faith, January 26, 2010 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

This is an odd article.  It provides little material except to indicate that there is
some association of demential with high blood pressure.  It would have been
beneficial if suggestions had been provided concerning avoidance of high blood
pressure such as exercise, weight loss - modern medical thinking on the topic. 
Sorry, this is not up to Truthdig’s usual standards.

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By cyrena, January 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

Well, they wouldn’t ‘know’ about it if they had dementia themselves!  THAT’S the problem with dementia and related similar mental illnesses. People who are mentally ill don’t KNOW they’re mentally ill.
AND…I’m willing to make a WAG (wild ass guess) that about a third of us (maybe more) DO have dementia or some other form of mental illness.  That’s PART of the reason I had to stop reading Truthdig for a while.  I’m already surrounded by this cruel and heartless condition in my own family, so I’d be overwhelmingly stupid to actually go in search of the same insanity from strangers.
Anyway, when ya’ll fill out your tax returns this year, feel free to check the box for donations with code 401. Supposedly, that will allow you to contribute to the tons of research that still needs to be done on Alzheimer’s and related dementias

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