Blood vessels can affect your brain health

Credit: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels.

The brain is a complex and amazing organ that is responsible for controlling everything we do, from breathing and moving to thinking and feeling.

One important part of the brain is its blood vessels, which deliver oxygen and glucose to the brain cells that need them. But these blood vessels do much more than just deliver nutrients.

In a recent report from the American Heart Association, scientists highlighted the important role that blood vessels play in overall brain health.

The report emphasizes the need for greater collaboration between researchers and healthcare professionals in cardiovascular diseases and brain health to better understand age-related brain problems.

The report points out that blood vessels not only deliver nutrients to the brain but also help remove harmful byproducts generated by brain activity and regulate immune cell traffic in and out of the brain.

However, when blood vessels become damaged, cognitive function can suffer, and brain diseases can develop.

The report also discusses the link between blood vessel health and some brain problems, such as strokes.

It suggests that problems with blood flow and leakage into the brain from the bloodstream can occur before the appearance of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

The report concludes that having a better understanding of the role blood vessels play in brain disorders could provide better opportunities for prevention, recognition, and treatment.

Numerous studies have established a strong relationship between heart and brain health, finding they share many of the same risk factors, including high blood pressure.

The report expands on the AHA’s focus on that relationship by delving deeper into how vascular health affects brain health.

The report also addresses how blood vessels in the meninges, three layers of membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord, may be affecting cognitive function.

The blood-brain barrier, formed by the cells lining brain blood vessels, prevents harmful substances from entering the brain through the bloodstream, while allowing needed nutrients and oxygen to cross over.

Researchers now understand that blood vessels in the meninges, which do not have the barrier, are an important avenue through which some cells enter the brain.

These cells, immune cells in particular, patrol the brain and report back to the rest of the body’s immune system. Altered immune cell traffic can contribute to brain diseases.

In conclusion, this report highlights the importance of understanding the complex relationship between the brain and blood vessels for overall brain health.

By better understanding this relationship, healthcare professionals may be able to prevent, recognize, and treat brain disorders more effectively.

There are many things you can do to protect your brain health, including:

Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is essential for brain health. It allows the brain to rest and recharge, which is critical for memory consolidation and learning.

Stay physically active: Exercise can help improve blood flow to the brain, which is crucial for maintaining brain health. Physical activity can also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Eat a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can provide the nutrients your brain needs to function at its best.

Manage stress: Chronic stress can damage the brain and lead to cognitive problems. Finding ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, can help protect your brain health.

Stay socially engaged: Social interaction and meaningful connections with others can help improve brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Challenge your brain: Engaging in mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, puzzles, or learning a new skill, can help keep your brain active and healthy.

Protect your head: Traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting effects on brain health. Wearing a helmet when cycling or engaging in contact sports and taking steps to prevent falls can help protect your brain from injury.

By incorporating these habits into your daily routine, you can help protect your brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

If you care about blood health, please read studies about what your blood type can tell you about your health, and scientists find new way to treat high blood pressure.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about vaccine that may prevent brain damage caused by infection, and results showing blueberry supplements may prevent cognitive decline.

The study was published in Stroke.

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