School of Medicine

Does improving cardiovascular health reduce risk of dementia?

People at risk for Alzheimer’s sought for study

From the WashU Newsroom

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are recruiting volunteers for a national study that is exploring whether strategies to improve cardiovascular health also reduce the risk of dementia in those at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

The multicenter study is evaluating aerobic exercise, intensive medical management of blood pressure and cholesterol, and a combination of those approaches in people ages 60 to 85 who are at risk for Alzheimer’s because they have a parent or sibling diagnosed with dementia.

The two-year study seeks to learn whether managing cardiovascular risk factors might have the added benefit of preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms in older adults.

“There is a greater risk for Alzheimer’s in people with high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol,” said Ellen F. Binder, MD, the principal investigator at the study’s Washington University clinical site and a professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science. “These are risk factors we normally associate with cardiovascular disease and stroke, but they can change the brain’s vasculature and structure, and that can increase the risk of dementia.”

  Read more at the Source.