Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Study: High blood pressure harms brain of those in early 40s

By
From page A1 | November 02, 2012 |

SACRAMENTO — UC Davis researchers have found that uncontrolled high blood pressure damages the structure and function of brains among people in their 40s or even younger.

The study found accelerated brain aging among those in early middle age with hypertension and prehypertension. That included damage to the structural integrity of the brain’s white matter, which includes the wiring carrying messages throughout the brain, and volume of its gray matter, according to a news release.

A typical 33-year-old with high blood pressure had the brain health of a 40-year-old with normal blood pressure, the researchers found.

Vascular brain injury “develops insidiously over the lifetime with discernible effects,” the researchers concluded in what is believed to be the first study to demonstrate structural brain damage in that age group. The paper was published online this week in the journal The Lancet Neurology.

The study’s senior author, Charles DeCarli, said the study sends a clear message:

“People can influence their late-life brain health by knowing and treating their blood pressure at a young age, when you wouldn’t necessarily be thinking about it. The people in our study were cognitively normal, so a lack of symptoms doesn’t mean anything,” said DeCarli, a professor of neurology and director of the UCD Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Damage to the brain’s white matter has previously been linked to cognitive decline. This study provides evidence, the authors write, that lowering blood pressure among people in middle age and in the young elderly can help prevent late-life cognitive decline and dementia.

Normal blood pressure is defined as systolic pressure (top number) below 120 and diastolic pressure (bottom number) below 80. Prehypertension is a blood pressure range with a top number between 120 to 139 and bottom number from 80 to 89. Blood pressures of 140 over 90 or greater are considered high.

The research sought to decipher the age of onset, extent and nature of the effects of elevated systolic blood pressure on cognitive decline among 579 participants in the Framingham study, a longitudinal evaluation begun more than 60 years ago of the cardiovascular health of the residents of Framingham, Mass., now in its third generation of participants. They were 39, on average, when they join the study.

Magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine the participants’ brain health. In those with hypertension, the axons — the biological wires — were reduced in the frontal lobe by an average of 6.5 percent. They also had 9 percent less gray matter in their frontal and temporal lobes, on average.

The researchers did not offer an explanation for the damage. They did note that high blood pressure makes arteries stiffen, causing blood flowing to the brain to pulse more strongly. This stresses the brain’s blood vessels and may make it more difficult for them to nourish brain tissue, according to the news release.

— Reach Cory Golden at cgolden@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

    Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

     
    Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Record drought saps California honey production

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    World travelers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Weightlifters causing a racket

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    No support for militarization

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    A better use for this vehicle

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Police are our friends, right?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Wage plan has a big flaw

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

     
    Light-hitting Cats fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Giants win nightcap in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

     
    Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Yolo Mambo to play free show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6