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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2010 Sep;16(5):933-8. doi: 10.1017/S1355617710000548. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

Elevated pulse pressure is associated with age-related decline in language ability.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.


Recent research suggests that pulse pressure (PP), a putative marker of vascular integrity, may be associated with brain microvascular damage and age-related cognitive decline. Thus, the present study examined the relationship between PP and cognition in a sample of healthy nondemented older adults. One hundred nine participants were administered neurological and neuropsychological evaluations and determined to be nondemented. Regression analyses were used to examine the relationships among pulse pressure (PP) [systolic blood pressure (SBP)--diastolic blood pressure (DBP)], age, and cognition. PP and related measures were inversely correlated with global cognitive functioning and scores on a composite measure of language function, even after adjusting for age, education, and relevant vascular risk factors. Results indicate that increases in the pulsatile component of blood pressure may convey added risk of global cognitive decline and specific impairment in language abilities.

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