The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Control Your Blood Pressure Today to Prevent Dementia in the Future
Fluctuating blood pressure may be associated with worsening dementia in people with Alzheimer's disease, according to new research. The study published Monday in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension sought to add a new understanding about the links between Alzheimer's, the heart and blood vessels.
What is vascular dementia?Dementia refers to a group of symptoms ranging from difficulty in speaking to memory loss, and the condition may worsen over time. Vascular dementia is a common cause of dementia, in which high blood pressure plays a vital role. Vascular dementia is caused by a reduced blood supply to your brain, which results in brain cell damage or death.
The early symptoms of this disease depend on the area of the brain that is affected. The commonly seen symptoms are:
- Difficulty in making decisions and solving problems
- Inability to pay attention
- Loss of memory
- Difficulty in communication
- Problems in coordination
- Difficulty moving around
- Physical disability
How does high blood pressure cause vascular dementia?Blood pressure refers to the force exerted on the blood vessels, specifically arteries. Arteries carry blood pumped from the heart to the different organs of your body. The blood pressure reading comprises two numerical values. The first one is the systolic pressure, which represents the force exerted on your arteries when the heart pumps blood (beats). The second number is called the diastolic pressure, which is the pressure on the arteries when the heart relaxes between two consecutive beats. The blood pressure in a healthy individual is about 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure or hypertension is caused when the blood pressure shoots over 140/90 mmHg. Increased stress on the blood vessels due to hypertension over a prolonged period causes hardening of the blood vessels, and they become narrower on the inside. This condition is called arteriosclerosis. The narrowing of the arteries in your brain may block or limit the entry of oxygen and nutrient supply to the brain cells, resulting in their damage or death. Blockage of arteries is the most common cause of stroke. Sometimes, an artery bursts inside the brain, causing a stroke. Both types of strokes can lead to post-stroke or stroke-related vascular dementia. However, other than stroke, dementia can also be caused by the blood vessels inside the brain being blocked or developing small bleeds over time. The gradual accumulation of these changes over many years results in small vessel disease, a major factor responsible for vascular dementia.
What is the treatment for vascular dementia?Unfortunately, there is currently no cure available for vascular dementia. However, you can delay the rate at which the disease progresses by controlling the underlying cause, high blood pressure. And the good news is, vascular dementia can be prevented.
How to make sure that I don’t suffer from vascular dementia?High blood pressure is known as a silent killer, as most people do not realize they have high blood pressure until a severe heart disease (like a heart attack) occurs. Regularly checking your blood pressure is a good way to be on top of your health. If you do not have high blood pressure currently, you should check your blood pressure once every five years.
We have listed down a few tips that will help you to bring your blood pressure under control.
- Exercise regularly
- Limit the intake of salt
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol and caffeine
- Quit smoking
- Take your medicines for hypertension daily
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