Consistent and long-term treatment of high blood pressure may blunt the progression of arterial stiffness and perhaps prevent deposition of beta-amyloid in the brain.
Recent studies have shown that more than half of individuals aged 80 or older have significant amounts of beta-amyloid plaques—a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease—in their brains. Yet with the exception of the presence of the APOE-e4 gene variant, the reasons why beta-amyloid plaques accumulate in the brains of older people are not well understood.
Some research has suggested, however, that the stiffness of arteries in the body—a sign of subclinical vascular disease—might play a role in the plaque deposits. So Timothy Hughes, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh conducted a longitudinal study to determine whether there might be an association between the degree of arterial stiffness in the body and the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brains of older people.