Dementia’s cognitive toll can make patients and their loved ones feel powerless. Now, a study reveals a new potential tool to wrest back some control over the disease’s progression, The New York Times reports. The large, randomized clinical trial found that patients receiving intensive treatment for high blood pressure were 19% less likely than those receiving normal blood pressure treatment to develop the early cognitive deficiencies—slightly impaired memory and thinking—that frequently precede dementia. Treating hypertension in people who do not have diabetes or a history of stroke could protect against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, researchers report this week in JAMA. More than 75% of Americans over age 65 have hypertension, suggesting that improving vascular health may bolster brain health for millions.
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