Breaking News! Alzheimer’s Study: Lowering Your Blood Pressure Reduces Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment
While lowering your blood pressure has been known to have positive effects on heart health, a more recent study may have uncovered its positive effects on brain health, as well.
A clinical study, called SPRINT MIND, was conducted on more than 9,000 individuals over the age of 50 and found that lowering your blood pressure (to a consistent systolic pressure of 120 or below) through intensive treatment can reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) by 19 percent and reduce the risk of probable dementia by 17 percent .
The Alzheimer’s Association’s chief science officer, Maria C. Carrillo, said in a statement: “MCI is a known risk factor for dementia, and everyone who experiences dementia passes through MCI. When you prevent new cases of MCI, you are preventing new cases of dementia.”
As high blood pressure is known to increase one’s risk for stroke, heart attacks and more, in 2018, US blood pressure guidelines were reduced from 140 to 130. This study suggests that lowering it even further to 120 could have additional benefits.
You can naturally lower your blood pressure in a few ways, including reducing sodium, exercising regularly, eating more berries and reducing added sugars.
The Future of the SPRINT MIND Study
Because the study was ended earlier than expected due to the results from a heart health perspective, there was not enough time to prove that lowering your blood pressure through intensive control reduces the risk of dementia, not just mild cognitive impairment.
The Alzheimer’s Association has announced that they will provide more than $800,000 to fund SPRINT MIND 2 – a two-year extension of the trial – and aim to bring back more than 7,000 participants for cognitive follow-up over a longer period.