Treatment of vascular conditions can delay or prevent Alzheimer's onsetSeniors with memory and cognitive impairments who are treated for other conditions that impact blood flow to the brain — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes — might be able to halt development of full-blown Alzheimer's and dementia, a new study finds.
Chinese researchers studied a group of 837 hospital patients, all of who had mild cognitive difficulties that had not progressed to dementia. Out of those, 414 had at least one vascular condition, such as high cholesterol. Half of that group developed dementia over a five-year period, making them twice as likely to have Alzheimer's-like symptoms as those in the other group. Patients who were treated for their vascular problems were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer's than those who were not treated.
A possible explanation for this, researchers suggest, is that vascular impairments affect the production of beta-amyloid plaque, a substance that is found in the brains of those with Alzheimer's. This study was published recently in the journal Neurology.