Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dementia linked to high blood pressure?

High blood pressure may be a contributing factor for dementia. Earlier this month researchers stated that hypertension was linked to one of two types of mild cognitive impairment. A condition that can foreshadow the development of dementia.

Rather then being linked to Alzheimer's, this mild cognitive impairment can effect language, memory, attention span or other mental functions.

While it is not an impact on the ability of the person to perform daily activities, it an be noticed by others and detected through tests.

It can also be a precursor to vascular dementia, which is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease, and is a risk factor for stroke.

From 1992 through 1994 Columbia University Medical Center in New York tracked 918 people (average age 76) in New York that did not have mild cognitive impairment when the study began.

Given examinations for cognitive ability at 18 month intervals, the tests revealed that over a course of 4.5 years 334 of the subjects developed mild cognitive impairment.

High blood pressure increased the risk by 40%. In concluding the study researchers suggest that cognitive impairment may be reduced through prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.

For more information see:

High blood pressure tied to dementia: researchers

High blood pressure ups risk of mental decline

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