Study reveals optimal blood pressure, keeps brain young

A latest study suggests that people with high blood pressure are at risk of rapid brain ageing. The research also showed that optimal blood pressure helps our brains stay at least six months younger than our actual age. Published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, the Study Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU).

The research further found that participants with high blood pressure were older and had comparatively less healthy brains, which further increased the risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia. It was observed that participants with high blood pressure in the normal range had older brains. He was also at risk of developing various health problems.

Looking at the results, the researchers are now asking for national health guidelines to be updated to reflect their important findings. Professor Nicolas Cherbuin, head of the ANU Center for Research on Aging, Health and Wellbeing, said that high blood pressure later in life causes one’s brain to become unhealthy, this is not entirely true. “It starts earlier and it starts in people with normal blood pressure,” he said.

Normal blood pressure is anything below 120/80, while an optimal and healthy blood pressure is around 110/70.

The research comes after a large international study showed that the number of people over 30 with high blood pressure has doubled globally. Cardiologist and study co-author, Professor Walter Abhayaratna, said that if individuals maintain optimal blood pressure, their brains will remain smaller and healthier with age. On how to prevent blood pressure from rising too high, a cardiologist suggests starting lifestyle and diet changes early in life, rather than waiting for the problem to escalate later.

Compared to a person with a high blood pressure of 135/85, the brain of individuals with an optimal reading of 110/70 was found to be six months younger by the time they reached middle age, the study said.

To extract these observations, the ANU team examined more than 2,000 brain scans of 686 healthy individuals, between the ages of 44 and 76.

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