BYU Study: High Blood Pressure Associated With a Low Risk for Alzheimer’s

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A professor and an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University co-authored a study which suggests that individuals with a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure are at a lower risk for Alzheimer’s.

BYU News reports that John Kauwe, associate professor of Biology at BYU, believes that association may have less to do with high blood pressure itself and more with the anti-hypertension medicine prescribed. Kauwe explains, “It’s likely that this protective effect is coming from antihypertensive drugs. These drugs are already FDA approved. We need to take a serious look at them for Alzheimer’s prevention.”

Researchers analyzed genetic data from 17,008 individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and 37,154 individuals without the disease. Kauwe and undergraduate studnet Kevin Boehme were in charge of using a supercomputer to piece together 32 different data sets for researchers to analyze.

Individuals from Cambridge and the University of Washington also contributed to the study. Paul Crane, associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Washington, also helped co-author the study and reiterated Kuawe’s belief. “It may be that high blood pressure is protective, or it may be that something that people with high blood pressure are exposed to more often, such as antihypertensive medication, is protecting them from Alzheimer’s disease.”

Authors published the study on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.

Kylie is a writer at and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.