Link between hypertension and dementia

16 Aug

According to the encyclopedia, atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty material collects along the walls of arteries. This fatty material thickens, hardens, and may eventually block blood vessels.  When this is combined with hypertension the condition produced can block blood supplies to certain areas of the brain. This then produces dead tissues called small infarcts. This can lead to many small strokes which may cause memory loss and has been documented as a cause of memory loss in older people.  The symptoms are sometimes difficult to detect because these strokes are so small they can go unnoticed until there is a cumulative effect of many such strokes and a large amount of tissue destroyed. Researchers concur that this link was missed because people who suffered from dementia had normal to low blood pressure. However a long term study of  a group of oriental men and women between the ages of 53 and 78 conducted over decades produced findings show that blood pressure in midlife may predict brain function years later.   There was a link between poor mental function late in life and high systolic pressure 25 years earlier. There was no link between mental function and diastolic pressure, a finding that underscores the importance of treating isolated systolic hypertension.

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