Young people after the age of 30 need to monitor their blood pressure regularly, to protect the brain from possible damage in later stages of life, according to a recent study.
The study revealed that “there is an opportunity” to protect the brain from the fourth decade to the early years of the sixth decade.
By tracking the health data of about 500 people, the study linked their high blood pressure in early middle age and damage to later life, including arterial problems and brain atrophy.
Experts said high blood pressure at a “critical stage” in the 1930s and 1940s could “accelerate the pace of damage” to the brain.
This is not the first time that hypertension has been linked in middle age and high risk of dementia, but scientists want to get a clearer understanding of this relationship and how it develops.
As part of the study, published in The Lancet, a specialist in neuroscience, participants underwent blood pressure measurements and brain scans.
The researchers found that there was a relationship between high blood pressure levels between the age of 36 to 43 years, and atrophy of brain cells.
“Accelerate the pace of damage”
The brain is known to be atrophied with age, but the symptoms are evident in people with neurodegenerative diseases, most notably vascular dementia.
While there were no signs of cognitive impairment in the study, the researchers said brain atrophy usually preceded the development of the disability.
Hypertension in the 43 to 53 age group is also associated with the appearance of signs of vascular problems or so-called “mini-heart attacks” by the 70s.
Jonathan Schott, a professor of neurology at the Queen Square Institute of London International University, led the research team.
“High blood pressure, even if we are in the mid-1930s, can have side effects on brain health after four decades,” Schutt told the BBC. Start at least before reaching the mid-1930s. “
“The NHA provides medical tests of this type from the age of 40, which benefit about 50 percent of this age group. Our data suggest that blood pressure should be measured much earlier.”
“We have known for some time that people with hypertension often have brain structures that change in later life,” said Paul Lisson, a professor of cardiovascular disease at Oxford University.
“The debate among doctors is at the moment whether the treatment of blood pressure in young people is preventing brain changes.”
“The alternative, as many do, is to wait until later in life to take hypertension seriously because we know that by the advanced stages of life, serious brain changes are developing.”
He pointed out that the results of this study already support the idea of a critical age in life, such as the thirties and forties, which exacerbate the damage caused by high blood pressure in the brain.
“Middle-aged hypertension is one of the most serious lifestyle factors that can lead to dementia, and is also easily controllable through follow-up and intervention,” said Carol Rutledge, director of the Alzheimer’s Research Center in Britain.
“The researchers suggest that the most effective treatment for high blood pressure in young years may lead to improved brain condition in later age.”
“We must continue to develop this vision by tracking and treating hypertension, even in middle-aged people.”