Although heart disease which is mainly affected due to human behaviors such as exercise, diet as well as smoking has been explained by science, several risk factors which make our brain vulnerable to the Alzheimer’s disease have not been identified by it. There are just a few hints which show that brain games and physical activities do have an impact to protect against dementia.
However, in a new study, a team of researchers have discovered that blood pressure may be one of these risk factors.
The study, led by Dr Zoe Arvanitakis from the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, measured the blood pressure of about 1300 elderly people, between the age group of 59 to 102 years and analysed them till the time they died, for eight years on an average after they were registered for the study.
To know whether brain lesions, including any signs of the Alzheimer’s disease are present or not, the researchers conducted autopsies on the brain of the participants.
As per the American Heart Association, the ideal blood pressure measurement should be 120/80 mmHG or less. However, during the study, the average blood pressure measured was 134/71 mmHG, which is referred to as pre-hypertensive. People having high blood pressure in the study period showed more presence of brain lesions, called infarcts, which are basically the dead brain tissue areas that have lost their supply of blood.
The study, published in the Neurology journal, provides further evidence that blood pressure may be one of the several factors which can contribute to fastening the aging brain process, which includes the formation of lesions and Alzheimer’s disease.
More research will be required to be conducted, but still, Arvanitakis said that the results should make people understand the importance of maintaining the right blood pressure level, not just for a healthy heart but also for a healthy brain.