New study: Aggressively lowering blood pressure good for the brain
An exciting new study gives hope to those who want to fight back against mental decline. It shows that controlling blood pressure can reduce the risk of dementia.
"For the first time in history, we can say there's something that clearly shows that what we do for our heart is good for our brain – and in this case, it's controlling blood pressure,” said Wake Forest University's Dr. Jeff Williamson, the lead study author.
This was a large study of people at high risk for heart attack and strokes. Aggressively lowering their blood pressure – so the systolic pressure (the top number) was 120 or lower – reduced the chances of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition that often leads to dementia, by 19 percent as compared to those who had a reading of 140.
"A controlled blood pressure not only prevents heart disease and heart disease related death, but these results show that it reduces the risk of developing dementia and general forms of memory loss,” Williamson said.
The takeaway message here: Both doctors and patients need to realize how important blood pressure is for your heart and your brain.