Scientists have found an association between hypertension and brain involvement in Alzheimer's patients.
Characterized by blood that pushes against the walls of the arteries with excessive force over a prolonged period of time, hypertension is a common condition. About 75 million or one in three adults in the US have high blood pressure – or high blood pressure – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To study the relationship between hypertension and brain health, researchers studied 1,288 participants until they died. On average, each person was examined for eight years and died at the age of 89 years.
The team measured their blood pressure annually. When the participants died, their brains were autopsied with their consent to look for signs of brain aging, such as complications and levels of amyloid beta plaque believed to play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease , They also looked for brain lesions known as infarcts and dead tissues, which are caused by a low blood supply that occurs more frequently with age. It can also cause blows.
When scientists and clinicians measure blood pressure, clinicians and scientists, they use two measures. Systolic blood pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is contracting – which should be 120 mmHg or less – and diastolic blood pressure or between bouts that should be 80 mmHg or less.
On average, the participants had a blood pressure of 134/72 mmHg. Two-thirds of individuals had a history of hypertension, with 87 percent taking medication.
The autopsies found a link between a higher than average systolic blood pressure in the years preceding a person's death and the number of brain entanglements. However, the scientists did not find the same connection with plaque.
The data showed that the higher the risk of developing brain lesions, the higher the systolic blood pressure of a person. A standard deviation above the mean systolic blood pressure, for example, 147 mmHM versus 134 mmHg, resulted in a 46% increased risk of having at least one brain lesion, especially infarcts. Overall, 48 percent of participants had at least one cerebral infarction lesion.
The effect of this was the equivalent of nine years of brain aging, the researchers said. However, the researchers also noted that decreasing systolic blood pressure carries a risk of developing one or more brain lesions.
Read more: Common Sleep Disorder Associated with Alzheimer-Associated Brain Changes  When diastolic blood pressure was measured, researchers found that individuals with an increase of one standard deviation from the mean – for example, 71 mmHg 79 mmHg – had a 28 percent higher risk for one or more brain lesions.
The conclusion remained the same even when factors such as the use of blood pressure medicines were taken into account, according to the authors of the study.
Dr. Zoe Arvanitakis, author of the study at Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, commented in a statement: "While our findings may have important health effects on blood pressure recommendations for older people, more studies will follow confirm and expand our findings before such recommendations can be made. "
Dr. Doug Brown, chief policy officer and research associate of the UK charity Alzheimer's Society, said Newsweek that he is high blood pressure in middle age is "known to increase dementia risk later in life, especially vascular dementia."
"While this study raised blood pressure later in life to early brain changes linked to Alzheimer's disease – an accumulation of complications – it was an observational study and we do not know if the people studied had a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, so that we can not draw firm conclusions. " As the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's increases, he said," We need to look at all ways we can reduce the likelihood of dementia. "
The next step could be to examine the effects of blood pressure control at a healthy level during middle and late life, to see if this can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's. "