Hypertension is a leading cardiovascular risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Age is the strongest risk factor for dementia and with the increasing life expectancy the number of patients living with dementia worldwide is estimated to progressively rise. A number of studies support an association between hypertension, particularly in midlife, and the development of cognitive disorders and dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. According to this, considering hypertension as a possible modifiable risk factor for the cognitive decline is of great clinical interest.
Treatment of hypertension in midlife seems to promote considerable benefits with regard to cardiovascular outcomes. Longitudinal studies examining the possible benefit of anti-hypertensive treatments on cognitive decline have produced promising results. Nevertheless, the results from randomised controlled clinical trials on treatment of hypertension are not conclusive for the effect on cognitive decline and dementia. New randomized controlled trials are needed to definitively clarify clinical advantages and specifically elucidate the relationship between anti-hypertensive treatments and cognitive function or dementia.
Keywords: Cognitive function, hypertension, blood pressure, cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, beta-amyloid, hypoxia, atherosclerosis
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