"This study also found that children with hypertension are more likely to have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)," said Heather R. Adams, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at URMC, and an author of the study.
"Although retrospective, this work adds to the growing evidence of an association between hypertension and cognitive function. With 4 percent of children now estimated to have hypertension, the need to understand this potential connection is incredibly important."
Among the study's 201 patients, all of whom had been referred to a pediatric hypertension clinic at URMC's Golisano Children's Hospital, 101 actually had hypertension, or sustained high blood pressure, determined by 24-hour ambulatory monitoring or monitoring by a school nurse or at home.
Overall, 18 percent of the children had learning disabilities, well above the general population's rate of 5 percent. But the percentage among those without hypertension was closer to 9 percent, and among those with hypertension, the rate jumped to 28 percent. All of the children were between 10- and 18-years-old, and the children's learning disability and ADHD diagnoses were reported by parents.
This study is part of a series of hypertension studies by Golisano Children's Hospital researchers, led by Principal Investigator Marc Lande, M.D., a pediatric nephrologist, but it was the first that included children with ADHD. Previous studies excluded them because ADHD medications can increase blood pressure. Researchers included them this time because, although it is possible that some of the children's hypertension was caused by medications, it is also possible that the higher rate of ADHD among children with hypertension is a reflection of neurocognitive problems caused by hypertension.
Twenty percent of the children with hypertension had ADHD whereas only 7 percent of those without hypertension had ADHD among the study participants. And even when ADHD was factored out of the analyses, there was still a higher rate of learning disabilities in the hypertensive, compared to the non-hypertensive group of children.
"With each study, we're getting closer to understanding the relationship between hypertension and cognitive function in children," Lande said. "And this study underscores the need for us to continue to tease out the potential risk children with hypertension have for learning difficulties at a time when learning is so important. It may be too early to definitively link hypertension and learning disabilities, but it isn't too early for us, as clinicians, to ensure our pediatric patients with hypertension are getting properly screened for cognitive issues."
The study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The authors have no conflicts to disclose.
Heather Hare | EurekAlert!
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.
In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...
Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
18.12.2017 | Information Technology
18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science