Doctor of Philosophy
College of Science & Mathematics
Committee Member 1
Libon, David J.
Committee Member 2
Alzheimer's Disease, Cognitive Impairment, Dementia, Neuropsychology, Vascular Dementia
Dementia; Cardiovascular diseases in old age
Objective: Cardiovascular risks (CVR) such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia play a critical role in the emergence of dementia syndromes. Medication to treat CVR may not obviate downstream risk for cognitive change.
Methods: To examine the relation between history of treatment with medications to treat CVR and cognitive outcomes, participants were seen at time points ~7 years apart, completed neuropsychological evaluations, assessed for history of treatment with medication associated with hypertension and hyperlipidemia as indicators of CVR, and classified into 3 groups: Not Treated, Inconsistently Treated, and Consistently Treated. Regression models associating neuropsychological outcome measures of cognition and CVR were explored and refined within a "test dataset," and analyses were replicated using an independent "validation dataset."
Result: Most outcome measures were not significant, including episodic memory and executive tests. A main effect was found for hypertension for the Similarities subtest and the Digit Symbol Test; participants with no hypertension treatment history obtained better scores compared to other groups. While some measures were sensitive to impairment, MRI parameters were not associated with CVR indicators.
Conclusion: Between group differences on outcome measures of cognition were detectable in the presence of well-controlled blood pressure, indicating that downstream cognitive consequences persist in the presence of intervention for hypertension.
Wasserman, Victor James, "The relation between hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and downstream cognitive and neuroanatomical function" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 2852.