Preliminary findings from a large clinical trial, the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) Memory and Cognition IN Decreased Hypertension (SPRINT MIND) study will be presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago on July 25. The findings suggest that intensive lowering of blood pressure may reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and the combined risk of MCI and dementia, but not dementia alone. The SPRINT MIND study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The participants in SPRINT were adults at high risk for cardiovascular disease and the study previously reported that aggressive blood pressure control reduced cardiovascular events and mortality. In addition to the reduction in the risk of cognitive impairment, the SPRINT MIND preliminary results also suggest that intensive blood pressure control significantly lowered increases in cerebral white matter abnormalities as seen on MRI among a subgroup of participants without diabetes. These abnormalities have been reported to increase the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.

NIH spokespeople can provide important context about these preliminary findings including:

  • Explaining the preliminary nature of these results, their limitations and the importance of peer review
  • Sharing details about the SPRINT, SPRINT MIND and SPRINT Alzheimer’s, Senior and Kidney (ASK) studies
  • Reviewing how a growing body of research has pointed to a link between hypertension-related cerebrovascular disease and dementia
  • Describing NIH’s Mind Your Risks® health campaign to increase awareness of the link between vascular disease and brain health