AFP for Phnom Penh Post / ANN – Aggressive treatment for lowering blood pressure in older people has shown that it reduces the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, a risk factor for dementia, US researchers reported on Monday.
Although found in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) have not found any significant impact on the likelihood of dementia, experts say that the trial gives the hint of hope that the world's population is aging and dementia becomes more and more concern.
Dementia, including its most common form, Alzheimer's disease, is expected to affect 115 million people around the world by 2050.
So far, the world's best scientific minds have not found a way to reliably prevent, cure, or cure dementia.
However, some research suggests that high blood pressure – affecting three quarters of people over the age of 75 – may be a variable risk factor.
For the study of systolic blood pressure (Sprint), more than 9,300 people aged 50 and over with high blood pressure (systolic blood pressure between 130 and 180 mm Hg) were randomized to receive various interventions.
Some received intense blood pressure control with drugs that targeted 120 mm Hg.
Others had the goal of standardized goal of treatment below 140 mm Hg.
Patients were followed for about five years and received a number of cognitive tests.
In the intensive care group, 149 participants were considered as likely dementia, compared with 176 participants in the standard treatment group.
In other words, intense blood pressure control "did not significantly reduce the frequency of probable dementia," the study states.
However, researchers were cautiously optimistic about the secondary finding that mild cognitive impairment had occurred in significantly fewer participants in the intensive treatment group – 287 compared to 353 participants in the standard treatment group.
"This is the first study, according to our findings, to demonstrate an intervention that significantly reduces MCI's appearance, a well-established risk factor for dementia," the study states.
Following JAMA's co-editor, Kristine Yaffe, of the University of California, San Francisco, also emphasized the possibility that more research could confirm the technique as an effective prevention strategy.
"For the elderly, almost all of them worried about Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, Sprint Mind offers great hope," she wrote.
"The study shows that among those with hypertension, intensive control of SBP can reduce the development of cognitive disorders."
She urged her to study approaches together with other blood vessel health efforts, such as physical activity and prevention.
Maria Carrillo, the principal scientist of the Alzheimer's Association, who funds a two-year extension of the study for further study of any effects on dementia, called the findings "the strongest evidence so far on reducing the risk of mild cognitive impairment through treating high blood pressure."
"MCI is a known risk factor for dementia, and everyone with dementia goes through MCI," Carrillo added.
"However, the results of the study on reducing dementia risk were not final," she said.
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