Saturday, August 29, 2009

Can Memory Problems Be Caused By High Blood Pressure?

A recent article on the ScienceDaily website quotes research from the August 25, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology that suggests “that people with high diastolic blood pressure, which is the bottom number of a blood pressure reading, were more likely to have cognitive impairment, or problems with their memory and thinking skills, than people with normal diastolic readings...High blood pressure is defined as a reading equal to or higher than 140/90 or taking medication for high blood pressure.”

Here’s the website for the full article:

As my book, “Dementia Diary,” points out, my mother’s disease was a mult-infarct (or vascular) dementia. She had a history of high blood pressure and was not reliable about taking her medications to control it. Did this lapse lead to her cognitive decline. We’ll never know for sure, of course, but the likelihood is that it did.

I seem to have inherited her HBP problem but am compulsive about checking my pressure morning and night at home, and about taking my meds. Better safe than sorry.

Bob Tell
Author, "Dementia-Diary, A Caregiver's Journal"