Harmful brain changes in younger humans may be the result of high blood pressure. People, as young as 40 years old, may suffer a decrease in gray matter volume within the brain and white matter may also suffer ‘significant’ injury due to hypertension. Research has showed that the higher the level of blood pressure a person maintains, the more visible changes are apparent.
A new report published in Lancet Neurology found that changes in the brain also occurs in people over the age of 55 who are diagnosed with high blood pressure which can lead to the decrease in cognitive abilities. The studies show that those with high blood pressure readings have brain structures that were older than their actual age.
Of the 579 participating in the study, there were adjustments made for those who were receiving treatment for hypertension and for those who smoked. Overall the participants were healthy, white volunteers and researchers have said the study provides a glimpse of the medical consequences of high blood pressure but doesn’t give a ‘long-term picture’.
Medical experts involved in the study stated that many people, especially the younger generations, will not show any outward signs or symptoms of high blood pressure. It is only through blood pressure measuring during a doctor’s examination that the high blood pressure will be discovered and properly treated. Regular monitoring of blood pressure and early intervention of high levels can help to prevent long-lasting health consequences of high blood pressure.