Associations among hypertension, dementia biomarkers, and cognition: The MEMENTO cohort

Alzheimers Dement. 2023 Jun;19(6):2332-2342. doi: 10.1002/alz.12866. Epub 2022 Dec 4.


Introduction: Approximately 40% of dementia cases could be delayed or prevented acting on modifiable risk factors including hypertension. However, the mechanisms underlying the hypertension-dementia association are still poorly understood.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis in 2048 patients from the MEMENTO cohort, a French multicenter clinic-based study of outpatients with either isolated cognitive complaints or mild cognitive impairment. Exposure to hypertension was defined as a combination of high blood pressure (BP) status and antihypertensive treatment intake. Pathway associations were examined through structural equation modeling integrating extensive collection of neuroimaging biomarkers and clinical data.

Results: Participants treated with high BP had significantly lower cognition compared to the others. This association was mediated by higher neurodegeneration and higher white matter hyperintensities load but not by Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers.

Discussion: These results highlight the importance of controlling hypertension for prevention of cognitive decline and offer new insights on mechanisms underlying the hypertension-dementia association.

Highlights: Paths of hypertension-cognition association were assessed by structural equation models. The hypertension-cognition association is not mediated by Alzheimer's disease biomarkers. The hypertension-cognition association is mediated by neurodegeneration and leukoaraiosis. Lower cognition was limited to participants treated with uncontrolled blood pressure. Blood pressure control could contribute to promote healthier brain aging.

Keywords: amyloid beta 42; cognition; cortical thickness; fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography; hippocampal volume; hypertension; mediation; positron emission tomography amyloid; structural equation model; tau; white matter hyperintensities.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Biomarkers
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / metabolism
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography


  • Biomarkers
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides