Treating the risk factors for heart
diseases like hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes might also curb the
progression of Alzheimer's disease. Dietary changes, cholesterol lowering
statins and anti-hypertensive drugs combined with other treatments which
promote healthy blood vessels reduces the risk of developing mild memory and
cognitive problems into Alzheimer's disease.
The study showed that participants who took treatment for their heart conditions were 39% less likely to develop Alzheimer's. The link between treating heart conditions and lowering the risk for Alzheimer's is unclear but it is seen that treatment substantially reduces the risk. Hypertension and high cholesterol may affect the accumulation of the protein plaques in the brain that are a hallmark of the Alzheimer's and treating the underlying cause may prevent the progression of the disease.
This study is significant as it highlights the importance of vascular risk factors for Alzheimer's disease which can be modified. One cannot do anything about the genetic and age factors. The study was conducted in China and is published in the journal Neurology.