Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Rianne de Heus (Donders series 441)

4 September 2020

Promotor: prof. dr. M. Olde Rikkert
Co-promotor: dr. J. Claassen

The ups and downs of blood pressure variation in cognitive impairment and dementia

It is widely known that a high blood pressure during mid-life increases the risk for late-life dementia. However, when dementia is already present, the role of blood pressure on the brain is largely unknown. Clinical advice on blood pressure management in this group is lacking. In this thesis de Heus shows that regulation of blood flow to the brain in dementia is not impaired and that blood pressure lowering treatment in dementia does not lead to a substantial amount of side effects. In addition, this works shows that not necessarily mean blood pressure, but the amount of blood pressure fluctuations, both over time and after standing, are related to the progression of dementia. Overall, this work makes a case for further research into the full benefit-risk ratio of antihypertensive treatment in dementia. Moreover this indicates that the dynamical aspects of blood pressure should be taken into account in future research.