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Improved Blood Vessel Health May Impact Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on February 16, 2016 by Disability Help Group

According to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, blood vessel disease (which has already been shown as a potential cause for dementia) could be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, symptoms of Alzheimer’s could be worsened due to complications with blood vessels in the brain. Medical professionals will sometimes use the term “mixed dementia” to refer to patients who have signs of both blood vessel or vascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers analyzed 5,715 cases of Alzheimer’s disease, finding about 80 percent of the patients had blood vessel problems. This included bleeding in the brain, narrowed/blocked blood vessels and hardening of arteries.

Poor blood flow to the brain has been seen in other brain disorders such as ALS and Parkinson’s. The findings suggest an explanation for how middle-aged people, who improve their blood vessel health, could reduce risk of Alzheimer’s. Controlling cholesterol, eating a diet that is healthy for the cardiovascular system and keeping physically active are some of the ways this can be done. 

Researchers hope that younger and middle-aged adults will reduce their risk of dementia symptoms in common brain disorders—such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s—by receiving proper treatment for vascular disease and living a healthy lifestyle to ward off blood vessel problems. They also suggest that future studies on treatment of Alzheimer’s should focus on blood vessel health.

Brain disorders, especially those accompanied by other health complications, can significantly impact quality of life. It may even prevent someone from being able to work. This could entitle the individual to Social Security disability benefits. For help filing an initial claim or learning what steps to take if disability benefits have been denied, contact Disability Help Group at 1-(800)-800-3332.