-Dr. Kathy Kathson, PhD, CMC
According to February’s issue of Archives of Neurology, high blood pressure appears to have a correlation to dementia in senior citizens with impaired decision making and organizational thoughts. High blood pressure maybe be a risk factor in dementia in mid-life, however there is conflicting evidence of individuals with those who have high blood pressure in late-life.
Individuals with memory function impairment are more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease, while those with an impairment followed by a stroke or blood-vessel related problem may experience executive functioning. Executive functioning refers to the mental process involved in a goal-directed activity.
A hypothesis was tested by Shahram Oveisgharan, M.D., of University of Western Ontario, Canada, and Isafahn University of Medical Sciences to see if there was a correlation with thinking, learning and memory impairment and high blood pressure. 990 older adults (average age of 83) with cognitive impairment with no dementia was studied over a five year follow up. The study showed that dementia developed the same rate among participants with and without high blood pressure, specifically (59.5% of individuals with high blood pressure v.s. 64.2% without.) The study also shows that patients with only executive dysfunction, high blood pressure was associated with risk of developing dementia.
Around the world, neurologic disorders are one of the top disability-adjusted life years, where cerebrovascular disease is the most common risk, followed by dementia. There is no prevention or theraputic solution to solve the problem. In fact, we should understand and realize that high blood pressure may cause dementia.