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Fluctuating blood pressure may speed up cognitive decline in Alzheimer s

Just as researchers look for factors that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's they are also interested in finding out which factors may hasten the rate of cognitive decline in people who already have this condition. Fluctuating blood pressure could be one of them, a new study suggests. A few recent studies have suggested that Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia may have complex links with cardiovascular health. In 2018, a study published in the journal Neurology found that older individuals with high blood pressure were more likely to have toxic tangles of protein in their brains a physiological mark of cognitive decline. And earlier this year, research featured in Acta Neuropathologica suggested that Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular risk factors could have a common genetic denominator. Now, researchers from the NILVAD study group which involves the participation of several European research institutions have analyzed evidence that seems to suggest that fluctuating blood pressure has links to a faster rate of cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer's disease. The analysis, which appears in the journal Hypertension, looked at data from NILVAD, which is a double-blind, placebo- controlled phase III trial. The trial is looking at whether doctors could use nilvadipine, a hypertension drug, in the treatment of Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's treatments are limited at this point, and even a small difference in slowing down the disease's progression can mean a lot. It could be the difference between whether or not a [person] is still able to drive a car and live independently says Dr. Claassen. (Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Body clock influences how well the immune system works

New research in mice has found that the immune system does not respond equally well at different times of the day. This suggests that the body clock may influence mechanisms related to immunity. Circadian rhythms, which people commonly refer to as body clocks, are the body's automatic means of adjusting biological mechanisms, such as hunger and the need for sleep, according to natural rhythms, such as the day-night cycle. Body clocks also regulate other self-drive mechanisms, including breathing, heartbeat, and body temperature. Researchers already know that circadian rhythms influence many different aspects of our internal mechanisms. However, they do not yet know the full extent to which these clocks help determine our well-being. Circadian rhythms are common to all mammals. So, a team of investigators from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and the Universit de Montral in Canada studied mice to find out whether body clocks can affect how well the immune response works. Through their study, the scientists found that the CD8 T immune cells that the body uses to fight off infections and cancer tumors work with various degrees of efficiency at different times of the day. The research team reports these findings in PNAS. (Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)