FILE - This Oct. 7, 2003 file photo shows a closeup of a human brain affected by Alzheimer's disease on display at the Museum of Neuroanatomy at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
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It reveals that high blood pressure late in life might harm the brain.Autopsies on nearly 1,300 older people, including about 640 clergy members, found signs of damage and one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease in the brains of those with higher blood pressure than among those with pressure closer to normal, researchers reported Wednesday.The research began in 1994 and combined people from three studies of aging who agreed to donate their brains for autopsy upon their death, including the Religious Orders Study of Catholic clergy throughout the United States. All were over 65 and without known dementia at the start and were followed until they died – at an average age of 89 and after an average of eight years in the study.With Alzheimer's, changes in the brain occur a decade or more before symptoms do, so high blood pressure may have been doing damage well before the age when these people enrolled in the study, he said.
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