A new study finds keeping tight control of blood pressure may help protect memory and thinking skills later in life.
"For the first time, we actually have evidence that it can either delay or avoid altogether mild cognitive impairment and dementia," says Maria Carrillo of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The research project involved nearly 10,000 older adults.
Those able to get their top blood pressure number down to 120 were nearly 20 percent less likely to develop the memory and thinking problems that often precede Alzheimer’s disease.
Still, it’s too soon to say it can prevent Alzheimer’s.
"I think this is a start rather than a finish," says neurologist Dr. Alan Lerner of the UH Cleveland Medical Center. "This is the first big study to show that risk factor control has some legs."