Source | www.usnews.com
FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (American Heart Association News) — Having high blood pressure for long periods may increase the chance of small vessel damage in the brain, which has been linked to dementia and stroke, according to a new study.
Scientists have long known high blood pressure, also called hypertension, can lead to stroke, and past studies also have connected it to Alzheimer’s disease. The new research, published Friday in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, zeroed in on how high blood pressure impacts cerebral small vessel disease, the most frequent type of vascular brain disease in people with stroke and dementia.
Researchers looked at data from 1,686 adults who were free of stroke or dementia at the start of the study. Participants were given periodic blood pressure measurements throughout mid- and late life, as well as brain MRIs to check different parts of the brain for cerebral microbleeding, the accumulation of small blood products in brain tissue, and dead tissue. Both are signs of cerebral small vessel disease.