High Blood Pressure and Cognitive Decline

By | October 10, 2013

More confirmation that high blood pressure (hypertension) directly impacts brain health from this study in the British Medical Journal. The BMJ study followed over 5,000 older adults (average age of 75) for three years, measuring both blood pressure and cognitive health during medical visits performed four times a year.

The researchers found a consistent pattern between high blood pressure variability and declining cognitive performance – the study participants who showed the largest changes in blood pressure also showed the greatest decline in cognitive health during the three year study period.

Hypertension is also a known risk factor for ischemic stroke and deep brain microbleeds, which are tiny leaks from the brain’s vascular network. Bottom line: monitor your blood pressure, and talk to your doctor about ways to keep the (top number) systolic pressure below 130, and (bottom number) diastolic pressure below 80:

Readers can try the Healthy Brain Test to learn more about keeping your brain in good working condition.

See also: Moderate alcohol use tied to reduced risk of stroke