AHA connects fluctuating blood pressure to declining brain function
This new research includes fluctuations in blood pressure throughout a period of five years. These changes caused rapid declines in the subjects’ cognitive and brain function.
With this research, scientists hypothesize that controlling and managing unstable blood pressure could be a good approach to preventing declines in older adults’ cognitive functions.
“Blood pressure variability might signal blood flow instability, which could lead to the damage of the finer vessels of the body with changes in brain structure and function,” Bonnie Qin, lead study author and postdoctoral scholar at Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Brunswick, New Jersey, said. “These blood pressure fluctuations may indicate pathological processes such as inflammation and impaired function in the blood vessels themselves.”
The study involved 976 Chinese adult volunteers. Of them, 50 percent were women, and all were 55 or more years old. They were part of the China Health and Nutrition Survey, which lasted for five years.
This research could improve the lives of patients throughout the U.S. and around the world.
“Controlling blood pressure instability could possibly be a potential strategy in preserving cognitive function among older adults,” Qin said.