New research shows link between blood pressure and Alzheimer's Disease

Leslie Hanson
August 11, 2018

Alzheimer's researchers have focused on amyloid buildup in brain tissue.

An upcoming free presentation will provide an overview of the latest developments in national and local Alzheimer's disease and dementia research for anyone interested in learning more about a medical condition that has become San Diego County's third leading cause of death.

"What we found was not subtle", Dr. Paul Crane, professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine said in a press release. No correlation between cataracts and an increased risk of Alzheimer's were found.

Because our eyes are connected to the central nervous system, doctors chose to look at what's going on in the eye to find out what's also happening in the aging brain.

Mara McAdams-DeMarco, PhD at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her colleagues analyzed information on 356,668 United States hemodialysis patients of average age of 66 years. In this study, the researchers estimated that the 10-year risk of a post-hemodialysis dementia diagnosis is 19% for patients aged 66-70 years, rising to 28% for those 76-80 years.

This is not to say that all people with these eye conditions will develop the degenerative brain disease, but researcher Dr. Cecilia Lee, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the UW School of Medicine, said the eye conditions could be a red flag. For the study, researchers recruited people 65 and older who did not have Alzheimer's disease at the time of enrollment.

"The main message from this study is that ophthalmologists should be more aware of the risks of developing dementia for people with these eye conditions and primary care doctors seeing patients with these eye conditions might be more careful on checking on possible dementia or memory loss".

The strongest risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer's disease were age (86 years), black race, female sex, and institutionalization (such as in a nursing home).

The study looked at more than 9,000 people.

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