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.