Early Dementia Detected in Hypertensive Patients Using MRI

Data over the past several years have pointed toward the hypothesis that hypertension is a prevailing risk factor for the development of dementia. While conventional neuroimaging techniques have provided some insight into the development of neurodegeneration, it is becoming clear that by the time brain damage is visible, it may be too late for therapeutic intervention.

"The problem is that neurological alterations related to hypertension are usually diagnosed only when the cognitive deficit becomes evident, or when traditional magnetic resonance shows clear signs of brain damage,” explained co-senior study investigator Giuseppe Lembo M.D., Ph.D., professor in the department of molecular medicine at the Sapienza University of Rome. “In both cases, it is often too late to stop the pathological process.”

However now, investigators have just shown that an MRI can be used to detect very early signatures of neurological damage in people with high blood pressure before ...