How high blood pressure may be linked to dementia
High blood pressure has turned out to be a critical health problem – so severe that it is tagged “the silent killer”. When someone has high blood pressure, it means the heart has to exert a lot of pressure to pump blood. This pressure, after a while, begins to damage the blood vessels as well as the heart. And if left untreated, high blood pressure can cause unwanted damages to a number of vital body organs. In the worst cases, it can be fatal.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure has been found to be among the terrifying factors that cause brain damage. A study conducted on people with high blood pressure has established that the brains are indisputably damaged when blood pumps at high pressure. The scientists feel that the damage which they see as terrifying in the brain MRIs is certain to cause dementia.
What is dementia?
Dementia is a severe form of cognitive impairment used to describe symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, and problems with speaking and understanding. It is usually progressive, meaning that its symptoms become worse over time.
Dementia And High Blood Pressure
Our brain has lots of white matter that act as a communication network for the brain. These white matters create a system of nerve fibers and axons that allows smooth communication of various brain cells with one another. The moment there is a constant blood pressure that is above 140/90, the white matter in the brain begins to develop scars and lesions. Even a tiny increase in your blood pressure can damage the capillaries that promote this white matter. This disrupts the signals that brain cells send to one another and leads to problems like memory loss.
Likewise, the pressure exerted by the heart to pump blood damages and narrows the vessels in the brain, which eventually raises the risk of the blood vessel becoming blocked or bursting. If blood cannot carry oxygen to a part of the brain due to a blocked or burst blood vessel, some brain cells are damaged or even die. There might not be any noticeable harm when you are young. But as you grow old, this damage can begin to express themselves by affecting your ability to speak, reason, see, move, and even the memory – a dysfunction known as vascular dementia. Even If you already have hypertension with no signs of memory disturbances, that does not mean you will not have such a problem in the future.
It is absolutely important that high blood pressure is controlled. First, you need to get a precise idea of what your blood pressure is. This can be easily done through a visit to your physician or by a blood pressure (BP) booth in your local pharmacy store. If your blood pressure is high, there are several things you can do to bring it down. One way is to make some lifestyle changes, like engaging in regular exercise, maintaining weight loss, eating a low-salt healthy diet, reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption as well as quitting smoking. On the other hand, you can control high blood pressure by way of using a prescribed blood pressure medication. It is important you consult your physician for this and also before making any changes to your lifestyle. Finally, brain health is very important. If you lose the ability to reason and express yourself, you have basically lost what makes you human.