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Neurobiol Aging. 2014 Jan;35(1):64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.06.011. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Blood pressure decrease correlates with tau pathology and memory decline in hypertensive elderly.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Center for Brain Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; Department of Radiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address: lidia.glodzik@nyumc.org.

Abstract

In hypertension (HTN), cerebral blood flow regulation limits are changed, and the threshold for blood pressure (BP) at which perfusion is safely maintained is higher. This shift may increase the brain's vulnerability to lower BP in subjects with vascular disease. We investigated whether longitudinal reduction in mean arterial pressure (MAP) was related to changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease in a group of cognitively healthy elderly with and without HTN. The relationships among MAP, memory decline, and hippocampal atrophy were also examined. Seventy-seven subjects (age 63.4 ± 9.4, range 44-86 years; education 16.9 ± 2.1, range 10-22 years; 60% women) were assessed twice, 2 ± 0.5 years apart. At both time points, all subjects underwent full medical and neuropsychological evaluations, lumbar punctures, and magnetic resonance imaging examinations. Twenty-five subjects had HTN. Hyper- and normotensive subjects did not differ in their CSF biomarkers, hippocampal volumes (HipVs), or memory scores at baseline. In the entire study group, the increase in tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (p-tau(181)) was associated with a decline in verbal episodic memory (β = -0.30, p = 0.01) and HipV reduction (β = -0.27, p = 0.02). However, longitudinal decrease in MAP was related to memory decline (β = 0.50, p = 0.01) and an increase in p-tau(181) (β = -0.50, p = 0.01) only in subjects with HTN. Our findings suggest that the hypertensive group may be sensitive to BP reductions.

KEYWORDS:

CSF biomarkers; Cognition; Low blood pressure

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