From this post you will know how high blood pressure increases the risks of getting memory loss and other cognitive problems; and how it may gradually lead to Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. You will also know about the importance of staying away from and controlling high blood pressure. And finally you will get some introductory insights into the dos and don'ts of high blood pressure control and prevention.
You can take this as a manual on the relationship between high blood pressure and dementia from the Comfort Keepers; for our loved seniors to ensure healthy aging for them.
Various studies including one in Lancet Neurology has concluded that high blood pressure can gradually weaken the nervous system and the brain by causing damage to the arteries and the brain tissue in various ways. High blood pressure slowly affects the cognitive system. Although at first the effects do not become noticeable with the onset of declining years it suddenly becomes prominent and often may become too late to take effective actions. Reports suggest that high blood pressure can even make a brain prematurely age up to seven years earlier than the appropriate time.
How High Blood Pressure Brings Cognitive Decline in Seniors
Our brain consists of two layers. The outer layer, known as the cortex, is made up of grey matter and contains brain cells that plays an important role in memory, perception, attention and other cognitive functions. There’s another layer of white matter that contains axons. Axons are sort of biological wires that transfer information from one part of the brain to other areas. Studies have found out that blood pressure is responsible for the damage in both the layers of the brain causing memory loss, Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
The process is quite apparent. Due to high blood pressure the arteries become stiffened and it becomes very problematic for the brain cells to get adequate nourishment. Often due to blood pressure some mini strokes can occur that cause damage to the brain tissue. These mini strokes gradually make the damage more dangerous which leads to more severe strokes and more severe memory loss or dementia. This can also lead to vascular dementia, the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.
Have Treatment as Early as Possible
The longer you remain with high blood pressure the chances will become stronger for you to get cognitive malfunctions. Therefore, the moment you get diagnosed with high blood pressure you should start adopting adequate measures to have a grip over our blood pressure. You have to make some positive lifestyle changes and will also have to take some prescribed medication in this purpose.
Preventive Measures for High Blood Pressure
Healthy and balanced numbers for blood pressure is 120/80. So, your target should be to always remain under those healthy limits as preventing high blood pressure is much easier than treating it.
In preventing high blood pressure small lifestyle changes can go a long way. Here are some major such lifestyle changes that you can adopt to prevent blood pressure.
● Maintain a healthy body weight.
● Eat a diet that is heart-friendly and contains lots of fresh vegetables and fruits.
● Have an eye on you salt intake. Be aware of the processed foods.
● Have regular physical exercise.
● Have extremely limited amount of alcohol, if you have to.
● Quit smoking altogether, if you do.