The blood pressure numbers and your brain health

Credit: Unsplash+.

Have you ever had a band wrapped around your arm at the doctor’s office? The doctor would squeeze it a little and then share two numbers with you.

These numbers are more than just figures; they are key indicators of your health status. Recently, scientists have found a connection between these numbers and the health of our brains.

Understanding Blood Pressure

The force exerted by your blood on your artery walls is known as blood pressure. Arteries function as blood vessels, transporting blood from your heart to all other body parts.

Your blood pressure reading consists of two numbers. The top number, or systolic blood pressure, represents the pressure when your heart contracts and pumps blood.

The bottom number, known as the diastolic blood pressure, reflects the pressure when your heart relaxes between beats. Doctors consider blood pressure to be high if the diastolic number is 80 or above.

The Importance of Blood Pressure

Doctors mainly focus on the top number to assess your risk of heart disease, a condition that causes the heart to struggle in pumping blood. Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide.

The New Discoveries on Blood Pressure

Scientists from the University of Miami have made a recent intriguing discovery. They propose that the bottom number in a blood pressure test could be crucial.

It could help detect the presence of scars on a person’s brain, indicative of severe conditions like dementia, stroke, or risk of falls.

Unveiling the Study and Its Results

The researchers in the study focused on the connection between blood pressure and brain scars, known as white matter lesions. They examined over 1,200 individuals aged 50 or older.

The researchers found that individuals with the lowest diastolic blood pressure had fewer brain scars. They observed this correlation through brain scans obtained using a device called an MRI.

Previous studies suggested that individuals with a high systolic number are prone to have narrowed arteries, leading to brain scars.

However, this new research found that people with a diastolic number below 80 had fewer brain scars than those with a diastolic number exceeding 90.

The Role of White Matter

White matter constitutes a segment of the brain, comprising nerve fibers that transmit messages to and from the brain. These messages aid our muscle movement, sensation, and cognitive function.

Scar tissue can interfere with these messages, increasing the risk of falls and other complications. These scars also raise a person’s likelihood of experiencing a stroke, which happens when the brain’s blood flow is blocked.

Furthermore, the scars can lead to cognitive and memory issues. By the age of 60, between 10% and 20% of people have these brain scars.

Wrapping Up

This research highlights the importance of knowing and monitoring your blood pressure.

It’s crucial to have discussions with your doctor about the optimal treatment approach for you. The findings also shed light on how our blood pressure can influence our brain health.

These insights can help medical professionals discover new preventive strategies against brain diseases.

So, remember, the next time you get your blood pressure checked, those two simple numbers can reveal a comprehensive story about your health!

Follow us on Twitter for more articles about this topic.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about unhealthy habits that could increase high blood pressure risk, and people with severe high blood pressure should reduce coffee intake.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that blueberry supplements may prevent cognitive decline, and results showing Plant-based diets could protect cognitive health from air pollution.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.