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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Blood Pressure and Aging of the Brain

In the past year, interesting research has come out from both researchers at the University of California at Davis and the University of Hawaii regarding the impact of high blood pressure on the brain and the benefit of taking beta blockers on reducing the risk of Alzheimer's Disease and other types of dementia.  According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) - 68 million American adults (1 in 3) suffer from high blood pressure.  The UC-Davis research research used data from the Framingham Heart Study and concluded, apparently for the first time, that high blood pressure can begin in an individual's 30s and 40s  to cause deteriorations to the brain that contribute to memory loss and ultimately Alzheimer's Disease and other types of dementia.  The Hawaii research found that those who took beta blockers were the only ones in that study who experienced a a difference in brain abnormality prevention and lowered blood pressure.  Anyone whose blood pressure is elevated should make lifestyle changes (lose weight, exercise, lower salt intake), take medication, or both to lower it to 120/80 or below. 

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