High blood pressure damages brain long before old age

From the Los Angeles Times:

Even in early middle age, the corrosive effects of elevated blood pressure on the brain are apparent, says a new study. It argues for earlier and stricter blood pressure control as a means of preventing dementia. (Patrick T. Fallon / November 1, 2012)

A twenty- or thirtysomething adult wth blood pressure that’s even a little high is risking damage to the structural
integrity of his brain that may be evident by the age of 40, says a new study.
The early appearance of hypertension’s toll on the brain suggests that
physicians should act sooner and more aggressively to control the upward creep
of blood pressure in their younger patients, say the authors of the latest
research, published online in the Lancet on Thursday.

Neurologists at UC
Davis led a study that looked at 579 third-generation participants of the
famous Framingham Heart Study. The participants ranged in age from 19 to 63
years old but clustered heavily around age 40. In addition to measuring systolic
blood pressure, the study authors scanned each subject’s brain: They precisely
measured volume of gray matter — the interlocking neurons and axons that make
up the brain’s central processing unit — as well as the integrity of the
subjects’ white matter, the thick cables of fat-covered brain tissue that speeds
electrical signals among brain regions.

Read about their findings here:

http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-blood-pressure-brain-damage-20121101,0,3791840.story

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About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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