How controlling high blood pressure may prevent Alzheimer’s

Dr. Jennifer Ashton breaks down a new study that says high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease may be associated with certain brain regions affected by Alzheimer's disease.
2:16 | 02/16/21

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Transcript for How controlling high blood pressure may prevent Alzheimer’s
Good to know he is at our disposal. "Gma" health alert from a new study looking at the link between high blood pressure and dementia and Dr. Jen Ashton here to explain. Let's break it down for everybody. Yeah, George, here's the actual study. Interesting study, they did this research in Spain and they used a test to look at the metabolic function of the brain called a P.E.T. Scan in middle-aged people who were completely asymptomatic for Alzheimer's or other types of cognitive dementia and what they found and this is a little tricky but required connecting the dots and found that in those subjects who had a low metabolic read on this P.E.T. Scan that they had a higher risk for future possibly Alzheimer's disease due to the existence of cardiovascular risk factors, the largest of which was high blood pressure so to connect the dots on this, because, again, there was a lot of association here, the idea is that what's bad for the hearts also bad for the brain and if you can possibly modify some of these factors early on, way before someone develops symptoms, you'll be ahead of the game. Yeah, so then what is the takeaway for Alzheimer's prevention and diagnosis? Well, that's exactly it. It's about prevention, it's about screening and, again, we want to be able to pick up Alzheimer's disease before the person starts to develop symptoms, that's really the holy grail in the type -- in this type of brain research so there are some tips here. Obviously maintaining a healthy weight. There is some data that supports a plant-based diet or low animal protein diet. Staying physically fit. Again, good are to the heart also very important for the brain and if you smoke, stop and obviously don't start smoking of the those things we know they're bad for brain, blood flow and, again, there may be subsequent connections. Your message is so consistent, good health habits help everything. They really do and the name of the game, George, is prevention. We want to prevent these diseases rather than treat them. So even decades before you get a diagnosis, when you're feeling good, now is the time to really turn up the volume on all these behavioral factors because they are so important.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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