According to latest studies, drastically lowering of blood pressure may be helpful in protecting memory and mental skills like thinking, in the later stages of life. A report on the subject was made by researchers on Monday and it marked the first sign of hope that it may be possible to decrease mental decline rates.
The large study on blood pressure considered above 9,000 people, who were north of 50 years old and discovered that the ones who lowered blood pressure levels to 120 — systolic level of blood pressure or top level— were 19% less prone to developing mild conditions of cognitive impairment, memory loss and decline in the processing power of the brain. These are symptoms usually preceding Alzheimer’s disease. The study named Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) and its results were made public in the American Medical Association’s Journal.
It is a known fact that an aggressive lowering of blood pressure may prove beneficial to those having high heart disease risk. However, this marks the first instance of the intervention having been proven to aid and improve brain health. Primary findings showed that the subjects were 17% less prone to development of dementia. Unfortunately, the results failed to be statistically significant as the study had to be cut short and hence, definitive conclusions were not reached at.
Owing to the high promise shown by the results, Alzheimer’s Association has announced an award greater than $800,000 in support of follow-up trials. This will help to expand the timeline of the follow-up for 2 more years and help in further investigating the effect of treatment on reduction of dementia risk. The guidelines for blood pressure in U.S were altered to 130 from 140.Currently, the sixth-leading reason of death in the U.S is Alzheimer’s disease and it has no cure. However, it is far too soon for anybody to connect the effect of lowered blood pressure to the prevention of Alzheimer’s.