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High blood pressure damages brain: Study

Written by: QMI Agency
Nov. 1, 2012

Charles DeCarli, professor of neurology and director of the University of California Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center. (File Photo)


High blood pressure damages the brain, a new study has found.

Researchers say people as young as 40 who have uncontrolled high blood pressure have brains that age faster.

"The message here is really clear: People can influence their late-life brain health by knowing and treating their blood pressure at a young age, when you wouldn't necessarily be thinking about it," senior author Charles DeCarli, professor of neurology and director of the University of California Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center, said in a statement.

Researchers measured the blood pressure and gave MRIs to 579 Americans, with an average age of 39.

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Those with high blood pressure had "significantly less healthy" brains compared to the people with normal results, the study found.

The researchers said they don't know what exactly causes the brain to age more rapidly in high blood pressure sufferers, but said hypertension causes the arteries to stiffen which can result in increased pressure on the blood vessels of the brain.

The study will be published next month in the Lancet Neurology journal.

 

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