High Blood Pressure Worsens Alzheimer’s

Having high blood pressure can worsen the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, as it constricts the blood flow in the brains of elderly people with the condition.

According to a new study presented at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), this latest research increases the link thought to be found between healthy hearts and brain health.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh used brain scans to measure the flow of blood to the brain in 68 elderly patients.

The scientist found that all patients with high blood pressure had less blood flowing into the brain, but blood flow to the brain was lowest among people with Alzheimer’s disease.

“While hypertension is not a cause of Alzheimer’s disease, our study shows that it is another hit on the brain that increases its vulnerability to the effects of the disease,” said study co-author professor Cyrus Raji. “These results suggest that by changing blood flow to the brain, hypertension – treated or untreated – may contribute to the pathology of Alzheimer’s.”

Co-author professor Oscar Lopez added: “This study demonstrates that good vascular health is also good for the brain. Even in people with Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to detect and aggressively treat hypertension and also to focus on disease prevention.”

People who have high blood pressure are also at more risk of having a stroke or heart attack.