Why is high blood pressure dangerous?

September 9, 2020  09:41

High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are dangerous to the brain and negatively affect cognitive abilities, including thinking and memory, Nature Communications reported referring to scientists from the University of Oxford.

They analyzed data from MRI scans of 22,000 participants in a long-term study by the UK Biobank. The data obtained allowed them to track changes in the gray and white matter of the brain, taking into account clinical, demographic, and cognitive factors. Thus, risk factors linked to blood supply - including hypertension and diabetes - affect the volume of the medulla in the fronto-parietal region, as well as the integrity of the white matter - axon bundles - between regions.

It turned out that in participants between the ages of 44 and 70, higher blood pressure was linked to impaired cognitive function. Interestingly, however, this correlation was not found in people over 70. 5% of the study participants suffered from type 2 diabetes, and this disease also turned out to be a factor in the reduction of memory and thinking.

The memory loss due to hypertension in diabetes is not really comparable to that seen in dementia, scientists say. However, the very fact of such an effect is indicative of minor brain damage that occurs in middle age. It is important to prevent this deterioration to prevent further issues.

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