Latest News » High blood pressure may have greater impact on brain health than doctors thought, study finds

High blood pressure can affect brain health in your 40s.

High blood pressure can affect brain health in your 40s.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are roughly 68 million Americans who have high blood pressure. This condition, which affects one in three adults in the country, can increase their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. However, researchers have discovered that this medical issue may have a more subtle, but equally concerning effect on brain health.

According to an October press release from the University of California's Davis campus, scientists discovered that high blood pressure could impact the structure and function of the brain by accelerating the aging process. As a result, people in their 40s may suffer from a loss of gray and white matter that, until now, has been attributed to elderly mental decline.

"The message here is really clear," said neurology professor and senior author Charles DeCarli. "People can influence their late-life brain health by knowing and treating their blood pressure at a young age, when you wouldn't necessarily be thinking about it."

DeCarli's sentiment echoes a recent campaign launched by the American Heart Association earlier this year, which encourage Americans to embrace heart-healthy habits at an early age to reduce their risk of severe medical issues later in life.

As this blog has mentioned, certain nutrients have the ability to lower blood pressure levels. One antioxidant found in blueberries, for example, was clinically shown to counteract this condition and promote better nutrition for the brain overall. High blood pressure, though widespread, is a preventable condition, and this new research only emphasizes the need to reduce your risk by eating well and exercising regularly.

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