Hypertension and dementia.Am J Hypertens. 2010 Feb; 23(2):116-24.AJ
Although hypertension is well known as a cause of vascular dementia (VaD), recent findings highlight the role of hypertension in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) as well as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Recent studies have shown that disruption of diurnal blood pressure (BP) variation is closely associated with cognitive impairment via injury of the small cerebral arteries indicating that long-standing hypertension constitutes a risk of brain matter atrophy or white matter lesions (WMLs). In several clinical trials, BP-lowering with antihypertensive agents was suggested to reduce the risk of dementia or cognitive decline. This review paper focuses on the role of hypertension as a risk factor for cognitive impairment, and summarizes current knowledge on the relationships between ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) and cognitive impairment. Finally, an overview of the impact of antihypertensive therapy on dementia prevention is provided.