Health

Dementia: Researchers Discover Particular Brain Areas That Have Been Harmed By High Blood Pressure

  • A known risk factor for dementia is high blood pressure.
  • The specific regions of the brain that may be harmed by high blood pressure and are associated with the onset of dementia have recently been identified by researchers.
  • Further research could aid in finding people who are at a high risk of cognitive impairment.
The term dementia, which covers several illnesses that cause memory loss and cognitive deterioration, is used to describe more than 55 million people worldwide. Scientists are unsure of the exact etiology of dementia, but they do know that certain factors can affect whether or not someone gets dementia, One of these is high blood pressure.
 
Those with high blood pressure are more likely to acquire dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, according to research from a reliable source. Researchers from Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow, Poland, and the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom have now identified the precise regions of the brain that may be harmed by high blood pressure and are associated with the onset of dementia.
 

How Does Blood Pressure Work?

The amount of power the heart exerts to pump blood through the roadways is measured as a person’s blood pressure. The croaker gets two distinct readings while taking your blood pressure. The loftiest figure reflects the systolic pressure endured as the heart pumps blood into the highways. The diastolic pressure, which the heart gests between jiffs, is represented by the nethermost number. The amounts are expressed in millimeters of mercury( mmHg).
 
As an illustration, normal blood pressure is greater than 90mmHg systolic and 60mmHg diastolic but lower than 120mmHg systolic pressure. High blood pressure is seen in the morning when the systolic and diastolic pressures both rise to 130 and 80, independently. Stage 2 high blood pressure is defined as systolic and diastolic pressures of at least 90mmHg and 140mmHg, independently.
 

High Blood Pressure: What Is It?

When the amount of force blood needs to pass through the arteries rises high blood pressure, May occur if plaque inside the artery walls, which contain cholesterol, causes the arteries to become damaged or narrower. A person’s chance of acquiring high blood pressure may be increased by several variables, such as:
 
  • unhealthy diet
  • obesity
  • inactivity
  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • genetics
  • certain diseases such as diabetes
 

What Effects Does Hypertension Have On The Brain?

The structure and operation of the brain can be harmed by high blood pressure in a variety of ways. For instance, severe hypertension can alter the shape of your brain’s blood vessels, cause them to harden, and cause clogged arteries to form. Small blood vessels in the brain become dysfunctional as a result of high blood pressure because the bigger blood arteries in the body transmit the increased pressure to them, causing small vessel disease.
 
Blood flow to the brain is impacted by high blood pressure, which also speeds up pathological processes including inflammation and neurodegeneration. These elements lead to memory loss, dementia, and other cognitive impairments.
 
Moreover, white matter in the brain can be harmed by high blood pressure. According to him, damage to the white matter, which is made up of nerve fibers that transfer information between various brain regions, can impair cognitive performance and raise the risk of stroke.
 
This emphasizes the significance of regulating blood pressure levels to avoid white matter injury and the resulting cognitive deficits.
 

Dementia and High Blood Pressure

Medical professionals combined brain MRIs, genetic testing, and observational data from tens of thousands of UK Biobank, COGENT, and the International Consortium for Blood Pressure participants.
 
After examination, scientists discovered differences in nine regions of the brain connected to both deteriorating cognitive function and elevated blood pressure. They include the putamen regions in charge of motor coordination and learning. Alzheimer’s disease and putamen dysfunction are related, according to an earlier study.
 
White matter regions, the anterior thalamic radiation, the anterior corona radiata, and the anterior limb of the internal capsule were among the other areas affected by high blood pressure.
 
Both basic and complicated behaviors are planned and carried out by the anterior thalamic radiation, whereas the anterior corona radiata supports decision-making and emotion regulation. Also, the internal capsule’s anterior branch supports provocation, decision- timber, and cognitive processing.
 

Will This Aid In Determining Disease Risk In The Future?

The next phase of this research, according to medical professionals, will involve developing clinical trials and studies that image the parts of the brain that his research team found to determine whether their assessment might help identify individuals who are at high risk of cognitive impairment.
 
As a result, practitioners may have access to cutting-edge technologies for breakthrough diagnostic and therapeutic precision medicine techniques. We can learn a lot more about how the brain functions in hypertension by taking a deeper look at these brain regions, and we can also find new techniques to enhance this function.
 
Dr. Raphael Wald, a neuropsychologist at Baptist Health’s Marcus Neuroscience Center, reviewed this research and told Medical News Today that it would be beneficial for physicians if comparable studies could result in a systematic set of criteria and protocols for recognizing stroke risk factors.
 
This may add to the arsenal of resources available to doctors in determining a patient’s stroke risk. Depending on how patients present, we can also utilize this data to identify particular types of strokes. It will also enable us to investigate further how to safeguard these brain regions when they are in danger, he said.
 

This Is Not a Coincidence

Researchers have shown that the dysregulation of blood pressure, the phenomenon of white matter illness, and cognitive dysfunction go hand in hand and are not coincidental, according to doctors, who also noted that high blood pressure is a changeable finding.
 
Primary care physicians, cardiologists, neurologists, and other healthcare professionals can effectively advise patients and families to bring this risk factor very aggressively under control by recognizing that it is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
 
We are aware that high blood pressure is not consistently managed throughout a patient’s lifespan or even just during the day, much like many other medical disorders. So, managing the patient’s blood pressure in many cases involves not just one medicine but occasionally several.
 
A person’s other medical issues may need to be under control to lower high blood pressure, the doctor added. A person with diabetes, obesity, and concomitant vascular disease is an example. Better blood pressure management, for instance, can result from managing those other medical issues and lowering weight. Also, the long-term cognitive performance and overall quality of life of these patients can be improved by jointly managing those other medical illnesses with open communication and regular check-ins.
 

Conclusion

High blood pressure is a known risk factor for dementia, and a recent study by researchers from Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow, Poland, and the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom has identified specific regions of the brain that may be harmed by high blood pressure and are associated with the onset of dementia. The researchers found differences in nine regions of the brain connected to both deteriorating cognitive function and elevated blood pressure, including the putamen regions responsible for motor coordination and learning, and white matter regions. 
 
High blood pressure harms the structure and operation of the brain in several ways, such as by altering the shape of blood vessels, causing them to harden, and causing clogged arteries to form. It can also impact blood flow to the brain, speed up pathological processes, and cause inflammation and neurodegeneration. The next step in this research is developing clinical trials and studies to determine whether imaging these parts of the brain can help identify individuals at high risk of cognitive impairment. The study highlights the importance of regulating blood pressure levels to avoid white matter injury and cognitive deficits.

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