Monday, 9 Dec 2019

Even slightly elevated blood pressure above 40 can indicate brain damage

Pathological changes in brain volume due to increased blood pressure

People between the ages of 20 and 40 years, already slightly elevated blood pressure values, have a higher risk for brain damage. A recent study to result in an elevated blood pressure is associated from 140/90 mmHg with the decrease of gray matter in the brain. In particular, this can lead younger people to changes in the brain volume and thus to brain damage.

Researchers from the Max-Planck-Institute for human cognitive and brain Sciences (MPI CBS) found recently in a study that is already slightly elevated blood pressure values above the normal value was a reference to brain damage. In particular, people between the ages of 20 and 40 years are at risk. The results of the study were recently published in the journal “American Academy of Neurology”.

Gray matter of the brain decreases due to high blood pressure

The Team research leader Professor Arno Villringer found that the brains of people with slightly elevated blood pressure in certain areas have on average a lower amount of gray matter than the brains of people with normal values. Previously, doctors and researchers were the end of it, that this can only occur as a result of years of existing high blood pressure. “Our study suggests that even minor changes in the gray matter of the brain can be observed in young adults, which is never a high blood pressure was diagnosed,” says Professor Villringer in a press release of the study results.

At what blood pressure to the brain can occur in the values of damage?

A healthy blood pressure lies, according to the researchers under 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). A value above 140/90 mmHg, doctors of an increased value of talk. “Our measurements show that people with a blood pressure above the normal value were more likely to have a lower volume of grey matter in several areas of the brain,” adds Lina Shares, the first author of the study. The reduced substance could be detected in sections of the cerebrum, the Hippocampus, the Amygdala, and the Thalamus.

High blood pressure not proven as a cause

The researchers emphasize that there is currently not yet proved that high blood pressure causes changes in the grey substance in fact or whether other factors play a role. This should be in further research projects. Nevertheless, “This study suggests that the treatment of high blood pressure or maintaining a lower blood pressure in early adult age can be essential to prevent the cascade of silent brain changes no symptoms to ultimately harmful conditions for the institutions such as stroke and dementia,” says Professor Villringer.

About the study

The Team looked 423 persons with an average age of 28 years with blood pressure measurements and MRI brain scans. 41 percent of the Participants had normal blood pressure, 29 percent in blood pressure levels between 120/80 and 129/84 mmHg. 19 percent had values between 130/85 and 139/89 mmHg, and 11 percent were above these values. The brain scans showed that The higher the blood pressure value, the more the reduction of the gray brain substance fell out. (vb)

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