The association between genetic determinants of blood pressure and cognitive decline
Aims: To assess the association between blood pressure, blood pressure variability and cognitive decline
Scientific Rationale: High blood pressure causes disruption of the barrier between the body and the brain, hardening of the arteries, strokes and cerebral bleeds. All of these contribute to neuronal damage and cognitive decline. However, some studies in late life have found that higher blood pressure is in fact protective of cognition indicating that the relationship is complex and target blood pressure for optimal cognition varies with age. Exploring the relationship between blood pressure, blood pressure variability, and cognition using genetic and population data will assist with identifying the best practice management of blood pressure in old age.
Project Duration: 12 - 18 months
Public Health Impact: Worldwide dementia is the 2nd leading cause of burden of disease and the 5th leading cause of death. The dementia crisis is only one that is going to grow given the rapid aging of the global population. Approximately one-third of dementia of dementia is caused by modifiable diseases and thus may be at least in part preventable. The most prevalent of the modifiable risk factors for dementia is high blood pressure, affecting over 1 billion people worldwide. It is critical that we have well established prevention programs and strategies to mitigate the effect of dementias. Clarifying the relationship between blood pressure, blood pressure variability, and cognition using genetic analyses will assist in the development of best practice guidelines in the treatment of blood pressure for the prevention of dementia.