Posted on Apr 25, 2012, 6 a.m.
Pronounced difference between systolic and diastolic pressure may increase risk of cerebrovascular disease, in older men and women with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Pulse pressure is the difference between systolic and diastolic pressure, often increasing substantially with age as a result of hardening of the arteries. Some scientists theorize that pulse pressure elevation may impair the clearance of beta amyloid – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s Disease – from the brain. Other studies have suggested that pulse pressure elevation may contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease risk indirectly by increasing the risk of disease. Mark W. Bondi, from VA San Diego Healthcare System and University of California/San Diego (UCSD; California, USA), and colleagues assessed at 65 patients who later met the criteria for Alzheimer’s Disease at autopsy. These patients were examined before death for relationships among blood pressure and neuropathologic markers. More than half of them were found, at autopsy, to have cerebrovascular disease. The study authors observe that: “The association between antemortem [pulse pressure] and [cerebrovascular disease] at autopsy suggests that in older adults with [Alzheimer’s Disease] associated with the presence of CVD."
Nation DA, Delano-Wood L, Bangen KJ, Wierenga CE, Jak AJ, Hansen LA, Galasko DR, Salmon DP, Bondi MW. “Antemortem Pulse Pressure Elevation Predicts Cerebrovascular Disease in Autopsy-Confirmed Alzheimer's Disease.” J Alzheimers Dis., Mar 26, 2012.