Can better blood pressure management lead to significant reductions in dementia?

A new study extension to the SPRINT MIND study seeks to prove conclusively the original study's breakthrough finding: that intensive blood pressure control (below 120 mm Hg systolic) decreases the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and, eventually, dementia.

While the first study failed the primary endpoint of showing a reduction in cases of dementia, it did show promising secondary results. Patients who reduced their blood pressure to less than 120 mm Hg were 19% less likely to develop MCI and 17% less likely to be diagnosed with all-cause dementia than were those who achieved a hypertension target of less than 140 mm Hg.

The median 5-year follow-up may not have been substantially long enough to show decreases in dementia developing and therefore an additional 2 years is being added to the study funded by a grant from the Alzheimer's Association.

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