Late-life high blood pressure may harm the brain, study says

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(AP) - New research suggests that high blood pressure late in life might harm the brain.

Autopsies were done on nearly 1,300 older people, including hundreds of nuns and priests who donated their brains to science. The exams revealed more signs of damage and one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease in those with higher pressure than among those with pressure closer to normal.

The study cannot prove cause and effect, but researchers said the results challenge the notion that high pressure is not as harmful in old age as it is when people are younger. Doctors said it shows the importance of controlling blood pressure at all ages, for brain as well as heart health.

The work was published Wednesday in the journal Neurology.

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