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Funded Research Projects

Dr. Ambar Kulshreshtha, Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine is a co-author in a new study published in JAMA Neurology - "Association of JNC-8 and SPRINT systolic blood pressure levels with cognitive function and related racial disparity" . The association between high blood pressure and risk of cognitive decline is well known. But the ideal SBP for older adults is less clear with recommended targets ranging from 120-150 mm Hg. The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term effects of the various SBP targets and to determine if racial differences exist in their impact cognition. The study shows that in hypertensive subjects age 70 or older, a SPRINT SBP target of <120 was not associated with worsening cognitive function overtime, and it may be superior to the JNC-8 target for cognition. Lower SBP treatment targets are likely to be more impactful in African American hypertensive individuals. Thus for seniors and particularly African Americans a lower blood pressure target may prevent cognitive decline. Dr. Hajjar in the Department of Neurology and Geriatrics is the main investigator of the study. 

Dr. Kulshreshtha is also the recipient of a new Alzheimer's Association International Research Grant. African Americans have a higher risk of developing Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease compared with Whites. The proposed study will assess the feasibility and acceptability of a Cognitive Behavior Therapy Intervention among African American patients with MCI using a 3-arm randomized controlled trial. Study collaborators include: Dr. Ashley Owen, Dr. Alvaro Alonso (at Rollins School of Public Health) and Dr. Ted Johnson and will be piloted at Emory Dunwoody Clinic! Stay tuned 

As part of the grant awarded from the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance, Dr. Kulshreshtha led more than 10 community events in places such as local churches, and community centers. 

About the SIMPACT project: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death and disability in Georgia, accounting for more than 30% of all deaths. Georgia is also part of the “stroke belt” with stroke mortality 17% higher than the rest of the United States. Despite this, more than one third of adults in Georgia do not know the modifiable risk factors for CVD. The goal of the project was to improve knowledge of CVD risk factors and warning signs for heart attack and stroke. Thanks to Emory Family Medicine residents, staff and faculty - we had an outreach to more than 300 under-served people in Georgia with these events.