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What Causes Low Blood Pressure In Dementia Patients

Subjects And Methods Data Collection

Dr.Berg’s Theory on Dementia, Blood Pressure & Stroke

This report is based on cross sectional data from the Kungsholmen projectâa longitudinal study of aging and dementia targeting all the inhabitants of the Kungsholmen district of Stockholm who were aged 75 or more on 1 October 1987. Of the eligible subjects, 1810 participated in the initial survey. Cases of dementia were detected by means of a two phase process: a screening phase and a clinical examination phase. Dementia was defined according to the diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition, revised. Details of the clinical examination and diagnostic procedure are given elsewhere. Severity of dementia was determined according to the clinical dementia rating scale, with some modifications. The age when symptoms of dementia first appeared was estimated from information given by an informant, and the duration of the disease was the difference between the date when symptoms started and the date of the screening test.

Information on the subjects’ medical history was obtained from the computerised inpatient register, which covers all hospitals in the area of Stockholm. Cardiovascular disease was treated as a possible confounder.

Heat Exhaustion Or Stroke

Heat exhaustion occurs when a person is out in the sun or in high temperatures for too long. It usually goes hand-in-hand with dehydration and has many of the same symptoms. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can cause damage to the vital organs. Like dehydration, you may feel dizzy, disoriented, or faint; this is because the body cannot efficiently send blood to your organs.

How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Brain Function

High blood pressure is also the strongest risk factor for stroke. The most common cause of stroke is the blockage of the arteries in the brain and half of these are caused by hardening of the arteries. Another important cause of stroke is the bursting of an artery in the brain, causing what is known as a haemorrhagic stroke, also called bleeding in the brain. Both type of strokes cause brain cell death that can lead to the development of stroke-related or post-stroke vascular dementia.

Narrowing of the blood vessels especially deep inside the brain does not always cause an overt stroke. These very small deep blood vessels can be blocked or have small bleeds . The person may not feel anything wrong at the time, but the gradual accumulation of these changes over the years becomes visible on the brain scan and is called small vessel disease. This is a major contributing factor in the development of subcortical vascular dementia.

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The Surprising Role Of Calf Muscles

Low diastolic pressure can arise as a result of medication use, heart failure or other health complications. But, in most people, it is simply a matter of the heart not pumping out enough blood with each stroke; in other words, low cardiac output. And low cardiac output occurs when not enough blood is being returned to the heart from the lower body.

The soleus muscles, specialized muscles in the middle of your lower legs, are responsible for pumping blood back up to the heart. Over the last decade, our research team has demonstrated how the soleus muscles plays a critical role in maintaining normal blood pressure during sedentary activities.

An effective strategy for maintaining normal blood pressure, and brain blood flow, is to re-train your soleus muscles. These deep postural muscles are most active during activities such as sustained squatting or toe standing. You can rebuild these muscles by regularly undertaking such activities, though it requires hours a day of exercise.

Alternatively, passive exercise options exist which permit the training-up of your soleus muscles more conveniently. Both electrical and mechanical, soleus stimulation approaches have been shown to significantly increase venous return to the heart.

If interventions to eliminate chronically low diastolic blood pressure are simple and direct, we may well have the opportunity to largely eliminate much of the scourge of dementia from modern life.

Antihypertensive Therapy And Dementia

High blood pressure associated with lower risk for Alzheimer

Given the association between hypertension and the development of dementia, a reasonable hypothesis is that antihypertensive therapy may protect against the development of dementia. However, the association with hypotension in later life and the risk of AD in particular, raises the possibility that this treatment may in fact contribute to the development of dementia. Several observational studies have longitudinally examined the effect of AH treatment on cognitive function and dementia .

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High Blood Pressure Is A Risk Factor For Cognitive Impairment And Dementia

Cognition encompasses thinking, memory, language, attention, and other mental abilities. Researchers have known for many years that if you have high blood pressure, you have a higher risk of developing cognitive impairment and dementia. However, just because high blood pressure is a risk factor, it does not necessarily mean that lowering high blood pressure will lower your risk. Many things in health and science correlate without one causing the other . Thus, randomized, double-blind, controlled studies are needed to answer this question.

What Constitutes Low Blood Pressure

In our research, we are utilizing data obtained from a relatively new quantitative assessment tool cleared by the FDA for evaluating cognitive function in people over the age of 50 years, who have a high school degree or higher educational level.

This computer-based evaluation, which takes about 10 minutes for an individual to complete, provides clinicians and researchers with a reproducible assessment of cognitive function on a scale of 0-100. A score above 75 places the person in the expected cognitive function range for their age, while a score between 50 and 75 indicates an individual is in the below-normal range and correspondingly, at increased risk of developing dementia. A score below 50 is indicative of an individual having many characteristics of dementia syndrome.

We have been comparing cognitive function scores in 50-95-year-olds to their resting blood pressures. Blood pressure is determined by measuring how much pressure is required to stop blood flow in the arteries of your arm. Resting blood pressure refers to your blood pressure after you have been sitting quietly for 10-15 minutes in a nonstressful environment. This is the blood pressure most older Americans experience most of the day, as older Americans are, on average, sedentary for over 9 hours.

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Helping Someone With Vascular Dementia

Caring for a person with vascular dementia can be very stressful for both you and your loved one. You can make the situation easier by providing a stable and supportive environment.

  • Modify the caregiving environment to reduce potential stressors that can create agitation and disorientation in a dementia patient.
  • Avoid loud or unidentifiable noises, shadowy lighting, mirrors or other reflecting surfaces, garish or highly contrasting colors, and patterned wallpaper.
  • Use calming music or play the persons favorite type of music as a way to relax the patient when agitated.

Tests For Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia: Causes & Prevention

There’s no single test for vascular dementia.

The tests that are needed to make a diagnosis include:

  • an assessment of symptoms for example, whether these are typical;symptoms of vascular dementia
  • a full medical history, including asking about a history of conditions related to vascular dementia, such as;strokes or;high blood pressure
  • an assessment of mental abilities; this will usually involve several tasks and questions
  • a brain scan, such as an;MRI scan or;CT scan, to look for any changes that have happened in your brain

Find out more about the tests used to diagnose dementia.

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Blood Pressure Vs Heart Rate

Blood pressure and heart rate are both important indications of how well your heart is working, but they measure different things. As noted above, blood pressure is the force of your blood flowing through your arteries. By contrast, heart rate is the number of times your heart beats each minute.

In adults, the heart typically beats 60 to 100 times per minute while at rest. But as with blood pressure, a healthy heart rate will differ between individuals. For instance, a pulse below 60 beats per minute is slower than normal, but it might not cause any issues for you.

However, in some situations, a low pulse means that the heart is not circulating enough blood to satisfy the body’s needs. That can cause you to feel dizzy and weak. A pulse in the 30s is a dangerously low heart rate and should be investigated.

The relationship between blood pressure and heart rate is complex. If you’re concerned about your numbers, see your doctor.

Alzheimers And Low Blood Sugar In Diabetes May Trigger A Vicious Cycle

UC San Francisco Researcher Urges Caution on Use of Certain Diabetes Drugs in Dementia Patients

A new UC San Francisco-led study looks at the close link between diabetes and dementia, which can create a vicious cycle.

Diabetes-associated episodes of low blood sugar may increase the risk of developing dementia, while having dementia or even milder forms of cognitive impairment may increase the risk of experiencing low blood sugar, according to the study published online Monday inJAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers analyzed data from 783 diabetic participants and found that hospitalization for severe hypoglycemia among the diabetic, elderly participants in the study was associated with a doubled risk of developing dementia later. Similarly, study participants with dementia were twice as likely to experience a severe hypoglycemic event.

The study results suggest some patients risk entering a downward spiral in which hypoglycemia and cognitive impairment fuel one another, leading to worse health, said Kristine Yaffe, MD, senior author and principal investigator for the study, and a UCSF professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology based at the San Francisco Veterans Affair Medical Center.

Older patients with diabetes may be especially vulnerable to a vicious cycle in which poor diabetes management may lead to cognitive decline and then to even worse diabetes management, she said.

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‘dementia Link To Sudden Low Blood Pressure And Dizziness’

People who experience frequent drops in blood pressure or dizziness when suddenly standing up are at increased risk of dementia, scientists say.

Writing in Plos Medicine they suggest that less blood reaches the brain during these moments, leading to brain cell damage over time.

Dementia experts say this is a “robust study” and “plausible explanation” that needs further investigation.

Charities point out that factors such as smoking carry higher risks.

But they say the work adds to growing evidence that changes in blood pressure have an impact on the brain.

New Data Suggests Controlling Hypertension Has Greater Impact Than Diet And Exercise

Blood Pressure Issues? NewMedicare.com Can Help!

by Stacey Colino, AARP, August 22, 2019| 0

En español | You’re probably aware that high blood pressure can increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Researchers are now zeroing in on how it also ups your chances of getting dementia and its common predecessor, mild cognitive impairment . While these links have been recognized for a while, few long-term studies have examined the relationship between hypertension at midlife or later with the subsequent risks of cognitive decline and dementia until now.

In a study published this month in JAMA, researchers tracked the blood pressure patterns of more than 4,700 people for 24 years, from mid- to late life, to see if they were associated with dementia risk. It turns out that those who had hypertension at midlife and later in life had a 49 percent increased risk of developing dementia, compared to those whose blood pressure stayed in the normal range.

Experts say that’s a sizable increase coming from one specific, and easily measured, factor. These data suggest that controlling blood pressure throughout life has a greater impact on lowering dementia risk than such risk-reduction behaviors as engaging in regular physical exercise or consuming a healthy diet, says Gary Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Longevity Center.

But researchers saw an even bigger risk for both dementia and MCI in people who had high blood pressure in midlife, followed by low blood pressure at later ages.

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What Does The Research Say About High Blood Pressure And Dementia

According to the World Alzheimer Report 2014, multiple studies following large groups of people for 15-40 years have demonstrated that individuals who had high blood pressure in mid-life were more likely to develop vascular dementia in later life. Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. It is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which starves brain cells of the oxygen and nutrients they need to function correctly. The association between high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease is currently unclear.

However, despite this apparent link between vascular dementia and high blood pressure, the results from randomised controlled trials into whether lowering blood pressure can prevent dementia have so far been inconclusive.

This research demonstrates the importance of conducting studies that follow individuals over a long period of time , to connect a person’s lifestyle choices and health profile throughout their life to the risk of disease development in later life.

A New Analysis Of Many Studies

Because SPRINT-MIND and many other prior studies have not clearly shown whether lowering our high blood pressure can reduce our risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, meta-analyses are needed to answer this question. Researchers in Ireland looked at data from 14 studies comprising almost 100,000 participants, followed over an average of more than four years. They found that older individuals who lowered their blood pressure are slightly less likely to develop dementia or cognitive impairment . Thus, the answer is: Yes! Lowering high blood pressure will lower our risk of dementia and cognitive impairment.

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Blood Pressure How Low Should You Go

What is an ideal blood pressure? Recommendations from 2003 categorized a systolic blood pressure of <130mmHg as normal, 130-140mmHg as borderline, and >140mmHg as hypertensive. However, new guidelines published in 2017 by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association lowered that bar. The ACC/AHA guidelines consider <120mmHg as normal, 120-130mmHG as elevated, and >130mmHg as hypertensive. New evidence released this year suggest that these guidelines may be appropriate when considering midlife hypertension and the risk of future dementia.

A recent observational study from France looked at blood pressure in individuals at age 50, 60, and 70 to see if high blood pressure increased the risk of dementia at late-life. They found that patients at age 50 who had a systolic blood pressure greater than 130mmHg had a 38% increased risk of dementia and those with a systolic blood pressure greater than 140mmHg had a 30% increased risk of dementia. Interestingly, hypertension at age 60 and 70 did not increase the risk of dementia later in life .

  • Group SR, Wright JT, Jr., Williamson JD et al. A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control. N Engl J Med 373, 2103-2116.
  • Livingston G, Sommerlad A, Orgeta V et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. Lancet 390, 2673-2734.
  • Get the latest brain health news:

    Researchers In The Us Have Identified An Increase In Dementia Risk For People Who Experience Orthostatic Hypotension Unusually High Drops In Blood Pressure When Standing Up Suddenly

    Stopping Blood Pressure Meds May Not Help Cognition

    The findings, presented today at the American Heart Associations EPI|LIFESTYLE 2017 Scientific Sessions, come out of a 20-year study into the health of more than 11,000 people.

    Low blood pressure, or hypotension, can reduce blood flow to the brain and cause symptoms like dizziness, blurred vision and unsteadiness. Some people may experience hypotension after eating, or when standing for long periods of time. When low blood pressure is brought on by suddenly standing up or changing posture, it is known as orthostatic hypotension.

    The researchers in this study worked with 11,503 people who had no history of coronary heart disease or stroke, and had an average age of 54 at the start of the study. At the first visit that took place between 1987 and 1989, the team recorded the blood pressure of the study participants when they stood up after laying down for 20 minutes. Orthostatic hypotension was defined as a drop of 20 mmHg or more in systolic blood pressure, or 10 mmHg or more in diastolic blood pressure. The team found that 703 people, around 6% of study participants, met the criteria for orthostatic hypotension.

    Dr Laura Phipps, of Alzheimers Research UK, said:

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    Orthostatic Hypotension And The Long

    • Affiliations Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Department of Neurology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

    • Affiliation Department of Geriatrics, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

    • Affiliations Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    • * E-mail:

      Affiliations Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Department of Neurology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Department of Radiology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

    • ¶Membership of the Heart Brain Connection Collaborative Research Group is provided in the Acknowledgments.

    Low Blood Pressure And Pd

    Neurogenic orthostatic hypotension is a sharp drop in blood pressure that happens when a person gets up from bed or from a chair, causing dizziness or even loss of consciousness. Doctors define it as a blood pressure drop of 20 millimeters of mercury in systolic blood pressure , or a drop of 10 millimeters in diastolic blood pressure , within three minutes after standing up. The condition can put people with Parkinsons at risk of fainting, losing balance, falling and being injured. What can you do? Learn strategies to predict when blood pressure is most likely to fall and also take steps to avoid feeling dizzy in the first place.

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