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New research examines link between blood pressure and risk for Alzheimer’s

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The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a study that shows aggressive treatment to reduce blood pressure might help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

During the “Sprint Mind” clinical trial, researchers found reducing systolic blood pressure below 140 made a notable difference in reducing the risk of cognitive impairment.

The findings are so significant the Alzheimer’s Association is investing $800,000 to help further the research.

“What we learned is that aggressive treatment toward reducing blood pressure might be able to make a difference in reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Carol Podgorski, UR Medicine. “We know recently that the guidelines for blood pressure have changed and physicians have always tried to get people to the systolic number of 140, and now there’s thinking that 120 makes a difference. What this trial has shown is that intensive treatment to reduce blood pressure to 120 can make such a difference it can reduce the risk of cognitive impairment by 19 percent.”

This new clinical trial could make a difference in the lives of more than five million Americans — 400,000 in New York alone. Fifteen to 20 percent of people over 65 have some cognitive impairment. By age 85, that jumps to more than 40 percent.

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