(HealthDay News) – Hypertension in combination with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype increases amyloid deposits in cognitively healthy middle-aged and older adults, according to a study published online March 18 in JAMA Neurology.

Karen M. Rodrigue, PhD, from the University of Texas at Dallas, and colleagues analyzed data from 118 well-screened and cognitively normal adults aged 47–89 years. Participants underwent beta positron emission tomography imaging with radiotracer fluorine 18-labeled florbetapir and were genotyped for APOE. Participants were classified as ε4+ or ε4 and as hypertensive or non-hypertensive. They were classified as hypertensive if they reported a medical diagnosis of hypertension or if blood pressure exceeded 140mmHg systolic/90mmHg diastolic, during the seven occasions during the study.

The researchers found that participants in the hypertension group with at least one ε4 allele showed significantly greater amyloid burden than those with only one risk factor or no risk factors. For subjects with at least one ε4 allele, increased pulse pressure was strongly associated with increased mean cortical amyloid level.

“Proper control and prevention of risk factors such as hypertension earlier in the life span may be one potential mechanism to ameliorate or delay neuropathological brain changes with aging,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, which partially supported the study.

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