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Elevated blood pressure decreases brain volume.

Modest rise in blood pressure in young adults can affect the brain

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According to the new study conducted by the researchers at Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, increase in blood pressure is linked with the reduced brain volume in the people in their 20s and 30s.

This study was published in an official journal of the American Academy of Neurology on January 23rd, 2019.

It is found in the new study that people with raised blood pressure have a loss of volume in the gray matter in certain areas of the brain. They are more likely to experience this loss in brain volume than people with normal blood pressure.

The normal blood pressure is stated to be less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The high blood pressure is set to be above 140/90 mmHg for this study.

This study was done on 423 people. The participants were adults of an average age between 19 and 40. They all went through MRI brain scans and had their blood pressure reading.

The researchers classified the findings of the blood pressure into four categories. The 41 percent participants had normal blood pressure and 29 percent had 120/80 to 129/84 mmHg blood pressure.

Also, 19 percent measured 130/85 to 139/89 mmHg blood pressure and 11 percent had high blood pressure more than 140/90 mmHg.

Arno Villringer, the study author, MD of Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences said, “Previously the assumption has been that brain damage related to high blood pressure results over years of evident disease, but our study suggests that subtle changes in the brain’s gray matter can be seen in young adults who have never been diagnosed with high blood pressure.”

Villringer also said, “More research should be done to investigate whether this could increase the risk for stroke, dementia and other cerebrovascular diseases later in life.”

A few researchers have assumed that the alterations in the brain volume appear in aged people. It is because of the years of hypertension.

The assumptions failed when the results of the study suggested that the fluctuations in blood pressure can originate even in people in their early 20s.

The people with blood pressure above normal have lower gray matter volume in the areas of the brain. This may include the frontal and parietal lobes, hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus of the brain.

People with high blood pressure had reduced gray matter volume in a total of 581 brain voxels. Inclusively, the consequences of the study revealed that the gray matter volumes decrease as blood pressure increases.

The study suggested that the high blood pressure measurements show lower gray matter volume in several parts of the brain. The brain volumes were less even in the groups with normal blood pressure.

One of the authors of the study had said that this research could be the basis of conducting further studies. It will help in determining how the blood pressure in young adults could be monitored and managed.

We cannot wholly rely on this study to state that above normal blood pressure causes gray matter alterations in the brain.

This newest study suggests that handling and managing the blood pressure in early adulthood can be necessary. It will lead to preventing the unseen brain changes. As the brain changes show no signs of organ damaging such as stroke and dementia, it becomes essential.

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