According to a 24 year old research on over 6,000 people by Arfan Ikram and Frank Wolters from Erasmus Medical Center, the Netherlands, orthostatic hypertension (low blood pressure when suddenly standing up) increases the chances of long-term dementia in a person by 15 percent.
Orthostatic hypotension, which can trigger head rushes or dizzy spells upon standing, is known to cause transient cerebral hypoperfusion, or brief episodes of reduced blood flow to the brain. Previous studies have also shown that reduced blood flow in the brain, in the elderly, can contribute over time to brain dysfunction, but hadn’t specifically looked at hypoperfusion caused by orthostatic hypotension.
After following-up time of 15.3 years it was seen that 1176 (19 percent) of the participants, who have never undergone a stroke or did not have any past records of demetia, in the study developed the disease that includes Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s dementia, and other dementias. Orthostatic hypotension at baseline, which was present in 1152 participants (18.6 percent), was associated with a 15 percent relative increase (95 percent confidence interval 1.00-1.34, p=0.05) in all dementia types.
Although this association between orthostatic hypotension and dementia does not necessarily represent a direct causal role, one possible explanation for the findings, the authors say, is that “brief episodes of hypoperfusion, elicited by sudden blood pressure drops, may lead to hypoxia [lack of oxygen] with detrimental effects on brain tissue.”
Source: ET Healthworld