Professor Yu Jintai, a researcher from the Neurology Department of Fudan University-affiliated Huashan Hospital and Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute (TCCI®) Investigator, revealed an association between blood pressure and the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia through a large-scale, five-year cohort study in partnership with a research team led by Professor Tan Lan from the Neurology Department of the Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University. The study was supported by TCCI® and the results were published in the latest issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
According to their findings, the association between blood pressure and cognition and the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease is significantly moderated by age. High blood pressure in middle age will significantly increase risks of cognitive impairment while hypotension in old age seems to be even more detrimental to cognition and the brain. On the other hand, wide pulse pressure (systolic pressure – diastolic pressure) will greatly increase the risk of cognitive impairment for both age groups. Further study showed that the pathological change of the tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease plays a pivotal role in the association between blood pressure and cognitive impairment.
Professor Yu Jintai pointed out that this finding serves as an important clue to decoding the underlying biological mechanism of blood pressure’s influence on cognitive impairment and helps to inform a more targeted blood pressure management plan for people suffering from cognitive impairment.