Pulse pressure and neurodegeneration in relation to the onset of dementia seem to be associated, according to Daniel A. Nation, Ph.D., and his associates.

Regardless of age, patients with a positive cerebrospinal fluid phosphorylated tau (p-tau) biomarker also had a higher pulse pressure than did those with a negative p-tau biomarker. In patients aged 80-91 years, pulse pressure was elevated even higher in those who had both positive p-tau and beta-amyloid biomarkers. A higher pulse pressure at baseline for very old patients was also correlated with a faster progression to dementia.

The “study findings underscore the importance of the vascular contribution to neurodegeneration in the very old population and suggest a potential relationship between vascular aging and both tau-mediated neurodegeneration and concomitant cerebral amyloidosis in this population,” the investigators concluded.Find the full study in JAMA Neurology ( doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.4477 ).

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