High Blood Pressure May Be Connected to Alzheimer’s Disease

According scientists, high blood pressure in seniors can lead to the formation of tangles and plaques in the brain, which are indicators of Alzheimer’s disease.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) increases the risk of heart disease since it can affect your brain extremely. It can intensify to the point of developing primary markers of Alzheimer’s disease. Hypertension occurs when the force of blood pushing against the inside of our blood vessels rises.

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Hypertension causes the heart and blood vessels to work harder, which in turn makes them less efficient. This stress gradually destroys the delicate tissues inside your arteries. Next, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (bad cholesterol, accumulates along tiny tears in the artery wall, causing the arteries to narrow, a condition called atherosclerosis. The arteries become narrower as the condition deteriorates.

This makes the blood pressure to rise further, beginning a process that can lead to problems ranging from irregular heartbeat, heart attack or stroke.

Now, a recent research published in the journal Neurology indicates that older people with higher average blood pressure are more likely to develop tangles and plaques in their brain.

Analyzing the Research

For the research, the team used 1,288 participants age 65 or older, with about two-thirds of them being women.

The participants received annual blood pressure checks and cognitive testing. A track of the medical histories and the medications of the participants were taken. Members were required to permit a brain autopsy after death to check for plagues and tangles which are signs of brain aging.

READ ALSO: How Consuming Fiber Can Suspend Brain Aging

The study participants had an average systolic blood pressure (the pressure when the heart beats) of 134 and an average diastolic blood pressure (the pressure when the heart relaxes) of 71.

However, over half had a history of high blood pressure and roughly 90 percent of them had been prescribed drugs for hypertension.

The team discovered that as systolic blood pressure rises, so does the risk of tissue damage, and this type of damage can affect brain function.

James Hendrix, PhD, director of global science initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association, explained that the damage caused by toxic proteins is only part of the problem.

“A lack of proper blood flow to the brain can make the brain less able to work around damaged tissue,” Hendrix stated.

Source: healthline.com, pulseheadlines.com


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