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High Blood Pressure May Add Years to Your Brain

By Jim Greene

A recent study published in Lancet Neurology links high blood pressure with decreased cognitive performance.

The study monitored the blood pressure and brains of a group of 579 healthy men and women whose average age was 39 using magnetic resonance imaging. The snapshot of participants were mainly healthy Caucasians, however some were smokers and had existing hypertension. After using magnetic resonance imaging to examine each participant’s brain, the research revealed that higher systolic blood pressure (the common form of hypertension) usually indicated both lower the gray matter volume and higher the injury to white matter in the brain.

Basically, if the patient’s blood pressure was higher, their brain was visibly older than their chronological age.

This is why Neurologist and Senior Author of the study, Dr. Charles DeCarli, of the University of California, advises regular blood pressure checks for adults in their early to late 30s. “Even if they have high blood pressure,” notes Dr. DeCarli, “the majority of people at this age have no symptoms.”

Source: New York Times

Jim Greene


Jim has spent the last 5 years writing for a variety of health-related websites. At Activebeat, James is an essential member of the editorial team, providing information on exercise, diet & nutrition and men’s health – among many other things.

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