Aggressive Efforts to Lower Blood Pressure Also Drops Risk of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia, Trial Shows

Aggressive Efforts to Lower Blood Pressure Also Drops Risk of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia, Trial Shows
Intensive efforts to lower blood pressure — dropping systolic blood pressure, particularly, to lower-than-recommended levels — can reduce a person's risk of the mild cognitive impairment that may precede Alzheimer’s and of dementia, results of clinical trial show. "This is the first randomized clinical trial to demonstrate a reduction in new cases of MCI [mild cognitive impairment] alone and the combined risk of MCI plus all-cause dementia," Jeff Williamson, a professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, said in a press release. These results were presented at the recent Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC 2018) in Chicago. The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) MIND study (NCT01206062) was a large-scale, long-term clinical trial that compared two strategies for managing high blood pressure (hypertension) in older adults: intensive treatment to lower systolic blood pressure to under 120 mm Hg, or a standard of care approach to drop or keep systolic blood pressure to under 140 mm Hg. Systolic blood pressure (SPB) measures the pressure in blood vessels when the heart beats; it's the first of two blood pressure values. Normal SBP values are below 120 mm Hg, and those in the 130 – 139 mm Hg range are considered high. Specifically, SPRINT MIND explored if an intensive treatment approach would also lower the
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