People who exhibit a genetic inclination towards high blood pressure have a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a new study suggests.
Around the planet, there are roughly 44 people afflicted with dementia, a group of brain degeneration disorders of which Alzheimer disease is the most common; accounting for 60-70 percent of dementia cases.
In the study, which was published on June 16 in the journal PLOS Medicine, researchers analyzed data derived from the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium and the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project which covered over 17,000 AD patients and over 37,000 people without the disease.
The researchers employed a supercomputer in order to analyze the participant’s genomes in search of common genetic variations–known as single nucleotide polymorphisms–which might be associated with potentially modifiable AD risk factors including smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
Study co-author John Kauwe, associate professor of biology at Brigham Young University in Utah, was quoted by Medical News Today in a report as having said that the study “is to date the most authoritative paper looking at causal relationships between Alzheimer’s disease and these potentially modifiable factors” and in the context of the number of samples, “it can’t get bigger at this point.”
This is to date the most authoritative paper looking at causal relationships between Alzheimer’s disease and these potentially modifiable factors (…) In terms of the number of samples, it can’t get bigger at this point.
While the team assessed a number of health conditions, higher systolic blood pressure was the only significant association made with reduced Alzheimer’s risk. In regards to the findings, study co-author Paul Crane, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Washington, said that the “results are the opposite of what people might think,” as it might be that “high blood pressure is protective or it may be that something that people with high blood pressure are exposed to more often, such as antihypertensive medication, is protecting them from Alzheimer’s disease,” Economic Times reported.
An unrelated study which was recently published in the journal Neurology has found that Alzheimer’s symptoms show up 18 years before diagnosis.