Alzheimer's may lower blood pressure because patients can't recall stress

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 3, 2008

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The lower blood pressures noted among those with Alzheimer's may be a result of forgetting the memories causing them anxiety, according to a paper published online Sept. 13 in Bioscience Hypotheses.

"They can no longer remember and worry about stress-inducing problems that have vanished from their memories," wrote Dr. Sven Kurbel, a researcher at Osijek Hospital in Croatia.

Dr. Kurbel reviewed studies linking dementia and blood pressure. Hypotension has been put forward as a possible cause of memory loss, but he suggests that the reverse could be true.

If this theory pans out, reducing stress could cut the risk of hypertension, which, in turn, might have an impact on downstream cardiovascular conditions.

"This is a fascinating piece of lateral thinking, one with real health implications," said William Bains, PhD, editor of the journal.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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