, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp 369-375
Date: 10 Jul 2010

Blood Pressure and Cognitive Outcome

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Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and “mixed” dementia, increases with age, yet its causes, particularly of Alzheimer’s disease, are not well understood. Hypertension is an important risk factor for arteriosclerosis, particularly in the brain and kidney, and cardiovascular events, including stroke, which are risk factors for vascular dementia. Several excellent reviews have summarized the strong, consistent evidence that elevated mid-life blood pressure and hypertension are associated with higher risk of dementia and cognitive decline. However, several questions remain, including whether the relationship of blood pressure to cognitive outcomes changes with age, and whether antihypertensive medication use delays or prevents cognitive decline and dementia. The purpose of this article is to provide an update based on review of recent scientific reports and to highlight factors that might explain existing results and future research directions.