An estimated 67 million American adults have high blood pressure – that is a third of the adult population! We know that hypertension can cause conditions such as strokes, aneurysms, and kidney damage. But now we can add another condition to the list: decreased cognitive abilities.
A recent study found at Huffington Post was done in Australia to determine if there was a relationship between high blood pressure and cognitive abilities. It was found that those with hypertension fared worse with visual processing, recognition, and processing speed.
Why do they think this is happening? Our arteries are the blood vessels that carry the blood from our pumping heart to the rest of our body. To withstand the pressure that the pumping blood puts on them, the arteries are fairly elastic and flexible. You can feel this if you feel for your pulse in your wrist. That pulsing is the expanding and contracting of the artery as the blood courses through.
However, over time and with wear, the arteries become less flexible. With less flexibility, the arteries increase the pressure of the blood going through. Add in additional causes of high blood pressure such as smoking or salt intake, and the increased pressure can cause damage to cells. Simply, the delicate brain cells can’t withstand such high pressure.
So, how do we avoid this? Eat right, exercise, and limit salt intake to prevent high blood pressure. If you already have it, make sure to keep up with your doctors and medications to manage your hypertension. To learn more about high blood pressure and ways to prevent it, visit Huffington Post.