Pulse Pressure Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarkers
Middle-aged patients with high pulse pressure, which is measured by subtracting the diastolic (lower) number of a blood pressure reading from the systolic pressure (upper number), are more likely to have biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in their spinal fluid, according to a study published online in Neurology in November.
Researchers from the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System studied 177 participants by examining the association between pulse pressure and Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers. The subjects, who ranged in age from 55 to 100, presented with no symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and agreed to have their pulse pressure taken and spinal fluid examined (via lumbar puncture). The research team discovered that individuals between the ages of 55 and 70 with high pulse pressure were more likely to have the Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers beta amyloid plaques, p-tau protein, and tangles in their spinal fluid than those with lower pulse pressure readings. Furthermore, every 10-point rise in pulse pressure increased the levels of p-tau proteins—the presence of which is more strongly associated with neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment.
While these findings suggest that blood circulation may be directly related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged populations, the authors propose that additional research on this correlation be conducted to improve our understanding of this relationship.
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