No Cognitive Benefits for Seniors Who Halt Hypertension Medication

This article originally appeared here.
Prior research suggests lower blood pressure increases risk for cognitive decline in elderly.
Prior research suggests lower blood pressure increases risk for cognitive decline in elderly.

(HealthDay News) -- Discontinuing antihypertensive treatment in seniors with mild cognitive deficits does not improve mental functioning, according to research published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Justine Moonen, M.D., of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues included 385 people, aged 75 and older. All had mild cognitive deficits and were taking antihypertensive medications. None had serious cardiovascular disease. Half of the participants were randomly selected to stop their antihypertensive treatment, while the other half continued their medication. Both groups were followed for 4 months.

By the end of that time, the team saw no improvement in the participants' cognitive functioning, whether they stopped the medications or not. The researchers said there are a number of possible reasons why halting antihypertensive treatment had no effect on brain function, including the fact that none of the participants had serious cardiovascular disease.

According to the researchers, future studies with longer follow-up might help determine if seniors with poor cerebral blood flow could benefit from more relaxed blood pressure targets.

Sources

  1. Moonen, JEF; Foster-Dingley, JC; de Ruijter, W; et al. JAMA Intern Med. published online, August 24, 2015; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.4103.
  2. Michelle C. Odden. JAMA Intern Med. published online, August 24, 2015; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.4309.
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