High BP in middle age `better predictor` of Alzheimer’s disease in old age
Washington – A new study has revealed that middle ages people who have a high blood pressure measure called pulse pressure are more likely to have biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in their spinal fluid than those with lower pulse pressure.
Pulse pressure is the systolic pressure, or the top number in a blood pressure reading, minus the diastolic, or the bottom number. Pulse pressure increases with age and is an index of the aging of the vascular system.
The study involved 177 people ages 55 to 100 with no symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Participants had their pulse pressure taken and lumbar punctures to obtain spinal fluid.
The study found that people who have higher pulse pressure are more likely to have the Alzheimer’s biomarkers amyloid beta, or plaques, and p-tau protein, or tangles, in their cerebral spinal fluid than those with lower pulse pressure.
“These results suggest that the forces involved in blood circulation may be related to the development of the hallmark Alzheimer’s disease signs that cause loss of brain cells,” study author Daniel A. Nation, PhD, of the VA San Diego Healthcare System said.
Nation said that the findings indicated that high blood pressure in middle age is a better predictor of later problems with memory and thinking skills and loss of brain cells than high blood pressure in old age.
The study is published in journal Neurology.