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Recent research suggests that hypertension can cause scarring that can eventually lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The scarring can develop as early as middle age but the dementia may not surface for many years down the road. There is enough evidence of a link that the National Institutes of Health is behind a major study aimed at determining if aggressive treatment of hypertension, with lower targets for blood pressure than currently are recommended, can make a difference.

If those lower targets can make a difference, this is a potential easier "fix" than those for many health problems. I am 44-years-old and I have hypertension and high cholesterol. This despite my active lifestyle – I hike, bike, ski, go to the gym, watch my diet and more – my situation is simply the curse of genetics. My doctor and I agreed to manage my high cholesterol with diet and exercise until the hypertension entered the picture. The combination of the two conditions made us both nervous enough for what could happen 10 years down the line that I started a simple diuretic to deal with the blood pressure. It is inexpensive with very mild side effects, if any, and the cost is very low. It is also very easy to monitor blood pressure at home so if there are problems, you can alert your doctor that some tweaking of your care plan may be necessary. Keep an eye out for developments on this issue because it has potential to impact the lives of many people – perhaps you or your loved ones.

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