Masked Hypertension–Cognitive Link Suggests Test

June 1, 2015

About one-third of US adults have high blood pressure, the leading diagnosis in primary care. Find the latest news about advances in hypertension research in the pages that follow.

About one-third of US adults have high blood pressure, the leading diagnosis in primary care. Find the latest news about advances in hypertension research in the pages that follow.

Masked Hypertension Tied to Cognitive Decline

Masked hypertension is associated with a high risk of cardiovascular (CV) events, but knowledge of the clinical characteristics is limited, especially whether measurement of cognitive function is useful for identifying masked hypertension in older hypertensive patients.

In multiple regression models in a recent study, cognitive dysfunction was associated with masked hypertension independent of age, sex, educational attainment, current smoking, daily drinking, use of antihypertensive medications, body mass index, diabetes, use of statins, and preexisting CV disease.

The observed independent association between cognitive dysfunction and masked hypertension suggests that a cognitive function test may be useful for identifying older hypertensive patients who are at risk for high blood pressure outside the office.

Hypertension Vaccine for Mice Shows Promise for Humans

Angiotensin II (Ang II) DNA vaccine given to spontaneously hypertensive rats significantly lowered high blood pressure for at least 6 months.

Ang II DNA vaccines induced an adequate humoral immune response while avoiding the activation of self-reactive T cells, assessed by ELISPOT assay.

Future development of DNA vaccine to treat hypertension may provide a new therapeutic option for humans.

Hypertension Drug Reduces Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

The high blood pressure drug guanabenz was found to prevent myelin loss and to reduce the clinical symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in animal models.

The drug seemed to enhance the innate cellular mechanism that protects myelin-producing cells against inflammatory stress. Guanabenz enhanced the stress response outside of its antihypertension functions.

Testing the effects of guanabenz on mouse models of MS that had relapsed, the researchers found close to a 50% reduction in severity during the following relapse cycle.

 They think that their findings can lead to new therapeutics for patients who have MS with the development of guanabenz for use in combination with other medications.

Take-aways:

Ang II DNA vaccine given to hypertensive rats significantly lowered high blood pressure for at least 6 months and may provide a new therapeutic option for humans.

An independent association between cognitive dysfunction and masked hypertension was observed, suggesting that a cognitive function test may be useful for identifying older hypertensive patients.

A high blood pressure drug prevented myelin loss and reduced MS symptoms in animal models.