February 14, 2019 – Blood Pressure and Dementia


Anchor lead: Does keeping blood pressure in control reduce your risk of dementia? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Keeping blood pressure in check didn’t reduce the development of dementia in older people, a recent study found, although the condition known as ‘mild cognitive impairment’ did decrease in those whose blood pressure was controlled. Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Lyketsos: I don’t think this is disappointing. I think this is a step in the process of understanding the relationship between blood pressure and cognitive outcomes. My bet would be that if they did this aggressive blood pressure control in fifty to sixty five year olds that it would be impactful.  :18

Lyketsos notes that blood pressures that are too low can be harmful.

Lyketsos: What’s the right blood pressure for an older person? Over 75, in that age group aggressive blood pressure management is probably harmful, because people need a higher blood pressure to perfuse their brain.  :11

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.