[Alzheimer's disease and treatment of vascular risk factors].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 2005; 149(51):2844-9NT
There is increasing evidence that vascular risk factors including hypertension, high cholesterol, hyperhomocysteinaemia and diabetes mellitus are connected to the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The risk of AD may be reduced by the treatment of hypertension prior to onset of cognitive impairment. One small randomised clinical trial has provided some evidence of beneficial effects on cognition of cholesterol-lowering drugs such as the statins in patients with AD. Treatment of hypertension, hyperhomocysteinaemia and diabetes mellitus with the aim of halting the progression of cognitive decline in AD is still under study and results are awaited. For the time being findings from the trials carried out thus far should be interpreted with care due to methodological shortcomings, both in study design and execution. In order to investigate the role of vascular risk factors both in the aetiology and treatment of AD, large prospective randomised trials with long-term follow-up of AD patients who have been diagnosed using revised uniform diagnostic criteria that take the heterogeneity of the disease into account, are necessary.