- Treating high blood pressure early in life can reduce your risk of cognitive decline later in life, according to a new study.
- Researchers have found that people with high blood pressure in their 30s are more likely to develop dementia in their 70s.
- Experts explain why it is so important to treat high blood pressure early.
It’s never too early to start thinking about your mental health, and new research shows that treating one of life’s most important things can help prevent dementia. In particular, according to a new study, treatment High blood pressureIn the 30s, or high blood pressure, the risk of cognitive decline in the 70s can be reduced.
A study was recently published JAMA Network Open He looked at 427 patients between the ages of 30 and 40, getting two blood pressure readings from each participant. This allowed the researchers to determine if they had high blood pressure [had high blood pressure], transitioning to high blood pressure, or had normal blood pressure when young. Researchers followed the same participants at an average age of 75 and performed MRI scans, which allowed them to look for signs of cognitive decline late in life.
Researchers have shown that people with hypertension have lower regional brain volume (which indicates the loss of brain cells) and worse white matter integrity (which indicates worse connections between different areas of the brain, according to the Cleveland Clinic). Both factors are related Dementia.
According to the study, negative brain changes in certain areas are more pronounced in men. These differences may be related to the protective benefits of estrogen before menopause, according to researchers.
“The treatment of dementia is very limited, so identifying modifiable risk and protective factors over the life course is key to reducing disease burden,” the first author said. Christine M. George, Ph.D.Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at UC Davis In a press release.
“High blood pressure is an incredibly common and treatable risk factor for dementia. This study shows that high blood pressure in adulthood is important for mental health decades later,” said George. press release.
How does high blood pressure affect brain health?
High blood pressure mainly damages the blood vessels in the brain, he says Amit Sachdev, MDDirector of the Department of Neuromuscular Medicine at Michigan State University. High blood pressure causes these vessels to become thicker and closer together, which reduces blood flow to the brain. Alternatively, it can cause the vessel wall to collapse. “Both ways contribute to high blood pressure Stroke” says Dr. Sachdev.
How can treating high blood pressure early in life prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?
There is excellent data to suggest that managing overall health in midlife can significantly reduce risk later in life, says Dr. Sakdev. “Also, a brain with strong physical activity is stronger for social interaction and lifelong learning,” he said.
Blood pressure control is associated with other markers of mental health, such as maintaining cognitive and mental health, as well as other neuroprotective measures, such as preventing or delaying growth spurts. Vascular disordersHe says Sandra Narayanan, MDHe is a board-certified vascular physician and neuro-interventional surgeon at the Pacific Stroke and Neurovascular Center at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute. “The development of vascular malformations is one of the most common complications of ischemic stroke,” she said.
What should I do if I think I have high blood pressure?
Before you worry too much, you should discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider to truly understand whether you have high blood pressure, says Dr. Narayanan. “Many patients don’t know if they have high blood pressure or not…because they don’t monitor their blood pressure regularly, they don’t have a blood pressure machine at home, so they only get checked once or twice a year. And those numbers may or may not reflect blood pressure.
To get to the bottom of your truth blood pressure Levels, Dr. Naranyan suggested to take measurements with your own hands. “Have a blood pressure monitor at home and record readings over a period of time, such as a month. At your next doctor’s appointment, be prepared to share those readings with you.” [primary care physician] It can have a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of your blood pressure. (If you’re in the market for a home blood pressure monitor, here’s our top-rated option, with over 27,000 ratings on Amazon.)
If you’re taking prescriptions to control your blood pressure, it’s important to keep track of all the medications your doctor orders you to take, says Dr. Narayanan. She also reminds people with high blood pressure to watch what they eat. “A low-sodium diet can help control blood pressure. If you’re taking high-blood pressure medications but eat a high-sodium diet, this will counteract the effects of the medications.”
The study’s findings are important because controlling blood pressure is something people generally know to do but don’t put into practice, Dr Naranyan said. “Having a vascular disorder or a neurodegenerative condition is scary, and prevention strategies are often not implemented until later. [initial] Disease levels creep in,” says Dr Naranyan. But by taking concrete steps within one’s control, patients really do have the power to change their trajectory, she added.
But don’t panic – starting with the basics can take you a long way. Health care basics and small steps lead to big gains, Dr. Sachdev. “If you know your risk factors, start addressing them. If you need help, ask your doctor for advice.”
Madeline, PreventionAn assistant editor, she has a background in health writing from her experience as an editorial assistant at WebMD and personal research at university. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience—and will help you strategize for success. PreventionSocial media platforms.