By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thirty-three percent of Americans have high blood pressure – this is a chronic condition known to increase risk of heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke. Unfortunately, many don’t know they have it.

Research has shown that high blood pressure in middle age may be associated with later Alzheimer’s dementia as well.

A new report in the journal Neurology looked at 170 adults and measured their blood pressure.

For those with marked elevation in blood pressure they did spinal taps and examined the fluid, looking for the telltale signs of neurodegenerative diseases. They found that elevated blood pressure was associated with increased levels of the proteins found in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

This is a relationship and not necessarily a cause. But it is not far fetched to draw an association between poor control of blood pressure and mental decline.

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