Australian researchers have drawn a clear link between Alzheimer's disease and high blood pressure.
According to researchers, better treatment of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, could halve the number of people who the degenerative mental condition.
Hypertension is known to increase the risk of heart attack, but Sydney's Dr Michael Valenzuela says it's now clear sufferers also have a heightened chance of developing Alzheimer's in later life, reports News.com.au.
"I think there is a fundamental link between Alzheimer's and cardio-vascular disease ... high blood pressure reduces blood flow to the memory part of the brain,'' Valenzuela says.
"Any kind of reduction of blood flow is going to be negative for brain cells, they are not going to have enough nutrients or ability to get rid of waste products," the expert adds.
The research said that this could cause breakages in the tiny blood vessels in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory, leading to "micro-bleeding that may kick off the Alzheimer's process''.
Dr Valenzuela, a research fellow at the University of New South Wales School of Psychiatry, has reviewed 10 years of global dementia-related research, drawing on clinical and also population-based studies.