Massive trial to determine effects of lower blood pressure on dementia

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The largest-ever clinical trial to determine the effect of lower blood pressure on dementia is preparing to enroll participants, according to recent reports.

Blood pressure recommendations for the average adult typically fall around 140/90. The trial will attempt to determine the effect on dementia, as well as heart and kidney disease, when the systolic pressure (the top number) is kept below 120, according to HealthDay. During the fall, the U.S. National Institutes of Health will begin to enroll the 7,500 participants aged 55 and older needed for the trial.

High blood pressure is currently associated with a number of other diseases, including dementia. There are already many treatment options available for high blood pressure. A recent study suggested that higher rates of Alzheimer's disease among minority populations could be related to higher rates of high blood pressure among those same groups. (McKnight's, 3/12/10)

For more information on NIH-sponsored clinical trials, go to