High blood pressure damages certain brain regions and can lead to cognitive decline

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In a recent study, researchers identified specific areas of the brain that are damaged by high blood pressure, potentially leading to cognitive decline and dementia.

Although high blood pressure has been linked to brain dysfunction, the exact brain regions affected have remained unclear.

The methodology

The study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), genetic analysis and observational data from thousands of patients to examine the impact of high blood pressure on cognitive function.

The researchers found that areas like the putamen and certain regions of the white matter were damaged by the rise in blood pressure, leading to memory loss, impaired thinking skills and dementia.

Using genetic information and a technique called Mendelian randomization, the team determined whether high blood pressure was causing changes in specific areas of the brain, rather than just being linked to those changes.

The results

Changes in nine brain regions, including the putamen and white matter regions that connect different parts of the brain and facilitate signaling between them, have been linked to higher blood pressure and decreased cognitive function.

These changes included a reduction in brain volume, changes in the connections between different areas of the brain, and changes in measurements of brain activity.

Hypertension affects approximately 30% of the world’s population, and another 30% have early stages of the disease.

The meaning and future work

The findings offer potential ways to treat cognitive impairment in people with high blood pressure by examining the genes and proteins in these brain structures.

This research could help predict who might be more likely to suffer from memory loss and dementia associated with high blood pressure.

Despite the promising results, the limitation of the study is that the British Biobank participants were predominantly white and middle-aged.

Therefore, it may not be possible to extrapolate these results to older individuals. Future studies are needed to determine precise causal pathways and relevant brain areas.

Conclusions and Implications

The study’s findings on the damaging effects of high blood pressure on the brain underscore the importance of identifying individuals at risk of cognitive decline as early as possible.

This research offers hope for new therapeutic developments and is valuable for people suffering from cognitive impairments associated with hypertension.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition in which the force of the blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high.

The condition can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and cognitive impairment.

Regular blood pressure checks are recommended for all adults, especially those with risk factors for high blood pressure.

The study, led by Tomasz J Guzik, was published in the European Heart Journal.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about it unhealthy habits that could increase the risk of high blood pressureAnd People with severe high blood pressure should reduce coffee consumption.

For more information on brain health, see recent studies Antioxidants, which could help reduce the risk of dementiaAnd Coconut oil may help improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s.

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