The Alzheimer’s Association is investing $800,000 to extend a research study to further investigate the impact of aggressive blood pressure treatment on reducing the risk of cognitive impairment.
The announcement, made at th end of January, follows an announcement about the SPRINT MIND clinical trial, which recently published its results in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). SPRINT MIND is the first randomized clinical trial to demonstrate that intensive treatment to reduce blood pressure can significantly reduce the occurrence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association Chief Science Officer, said, “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.”
Julia Faulkner Pechlivanos, Executive Director of the Northwest Ohio Alzheimer’s Association, said, “This is truly groundbreaking news. For the first time ever, we have learned that the first stage of dementia, mild cognitive impairment, can be prevented in up to 20% of people with proper management of blood pressure. Never before has there been a scientifically proven way to reduce the risk of developing dementia.”
The Alzheimer’s Association research investment will extend the research for two years and allow researchers to follow up with the original SPRINT MIND trial participants.
SPRINT MIND compared two strategies for managing hypertension in cognitively healthy older adults: an aggressive strategy versus a standard care strategy.
· The intensive strategy used a systolic blood pressure goal of less than 120 mm Hg.
· The standard care strategy used a goal of less than 140 mm Hg.
Researchers reported a statistically significant 19 percent lower rate of new cases of MCI among participants receiving intensive treatment, and a 17 percent reduction in a combined outcome of MCI or probable dementia. For probable dementia alone, the results were not conclusive because they were not statistically significant.
Dr. Carrillo said, “The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to getting the answers about treating and preventing Alzheimer’s and other dementias. We are filling the gaps in Alzheimer’s research, and – with the support of our donors and partners – we act rapidly to maximize opportunities.”
“Proof that lowering blood pressure can lower risk for dementia may be key to improving the lives of millions of people around the world,” she said.
About the Alzheimer’s Association:
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement or research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Approximately 5.7 million in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Almost 220,000 Ohioans are living with dementia. The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is carried out in Ohio by seven local chapters coordinating care and support, awareness, fundraising and advocacy initiatives. For more information on the Alzheimer’s Association call 1.800.272.3900, or visit alz.org.