High blood pressure: Consistently high reading may cause cognitive decline – signs to spot

Phillip Schofield gets blood pressure checked in Istanbul in 1991

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A consistently high blood pressure reading can damage and weaken the blood vessels. When the supply of blood does not flow freely a number of cardiovascular diseases may ensue including a heart attack or stroke. The poor flow may also cause cognitive decline.

An uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to memory loss according to studies.

Memory loss is triggered by several factors, the most prominent of which is uncontrolled blood pressure among adults.

It is also linked to headaches due to head injuries and trauma.

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In a study published in the National Institute of Ageing, high blood pressure being linked to cognitive decline was further investigated.

The study found that having high blood pressure in midlife, the 40s to early 60s, increases the risk of cognitive decline later in life.

The reason for this is that the brain receives 20 percent of the body’s blood supply.

“Its vast network of blood vessels carries oxygen, glucose, and other nutrients to brain cells, providing the energy the brain needs to function properly,” noted the study.

It continued: “The blood flow that keeps the brain healthy can, if reduced or blocked, harm this essential organ. Uncontrolled high blood pressure plays a part in this damage.

“Over time, the force of blood pushing against arteries may cause blood vessels to become scarred, narrowed, and diseased.

“This damage can hamper blood flow to many parts of the body, including the brain.”

“This is the first time in history that a randomised clinical trial has shown that we can reduce the occurrence of mild cognitive impairment by lowering blood pressure,” said lead study author Doctor Jeff Williamson.

For middle-aged and older individuals, this stresses the importance of having regular check-ups and working with your doctor to ensure that proper blood pressure levels are achieved.

Healthy blood pressure levels should be closer to 120/80 versus the traditional 140.

Other potential warning signs your blood pressure is too high include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nosebleeds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches.

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