Fluctuations in blood pressure endanger mental performance in old age

Fluctuations in blood pressure endanger mental performance in old age

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Frequent changes in blood pressure can damage the brain
Hypertension has long been considered a health concern. Now researchers have found that fluctuating blood pressure can have some negative effects on our health. If blood pressure fluctuates more frequently in older people, there is even a risk of brain functions being reduced.

Scientists from the Rutgers Cancer Institute have now found in an investigation that fluctuations in blood pressure are particularly dangerous for older people. If blood pressure changes often, the risk of losing or breaking down brain functions increases. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Hypertension".

Fluctuations in blood pressure can cause brain functions to break down
The current study was a so-called observational study, for this reason the doctors cannot explain an exact cause-effect relationship. However, a connection between fluctuations in blood pressure and the reduction of brain functions is quite plausible, explains lead author Bo Qin from the Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Brunswick. Blood pressure variability can be a signal of instability in blood flow. This can then damage the finer vessels of the body or even cause changes in the brain structure and disrupt brain function, says Qin.

Slight changes in blood pressure are normal
Blood pressure also fluctuates in healthy people. For example, the blood pressure tends to be lower in the morning and then rise all day long, the scientists explain. Previous research has combined particularly large fluctuations in the course of the day with later cardiac problems that can even lead to heart attack, stroke and death, the authors say. For their research, the doctors analyzed the data of 1,000 Chinese adults. The data came from a large health study in China that asked people questions about health and nutrition, the researchers add.

Subjects with fluctuating blood pressure had poorer cognitive test results
The results of the survey included information about blood pressure values ​​and the outcome of various psychological tests. For example, they examined memories and the ability to count backwards, explain the doctors. For some of the participants, blood pressure values ​​changed significantly between visits to the doctor. The researchers found that such individuals performed poorly on cognitive tests. The key to this, however, was variability, not the blood pressure value itself. Average blood pressure values ​​could not be linked to poor cognitive performance. Doctors generally tend to focus more on average blood pressure values ​​during exams, the authors say. Any fluctuations also seem important. (as)

Author and source information

Video: High Blood Pressure In Young Adults Could Lead To Heart Disease (June 2022).


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  4. Astyrian

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  5. Macgregor

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