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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. For the current study, the researchers first analyzed the data of 460 people from the NILVAD trial. The average age of the people was 72, and each had a diagnosis of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. At this point, the team only used the data of participants who had provided blood pressure measurements on at least three different visits to the clinical trial center. The team found that after 1.5 years, those who appeared to have the highest blood pressure variability showed a faster rate of cognitive decline than those whose blood pressure did not vary so much. "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. 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 Université de Montréal in Canada studied mice to find out whether body clocks can affect how well the immune response works. "Using a mouse vaccine model, we observed that after vaccination, the strength of the CD8 T cell response varied according to the time of day," says one of the study authors, Prof. Nicolas Cermakian. This study and its successors, the researchers write in their paper, could allow scientists to develop a vaccination approach that will take into account the time of day to maximize the vaccine's potency. (Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)