Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High blood pressure related decline in cognitive function affects adults young and old

05.10.2004


High blood pressure in otherwise healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 83 is associated with a measurable decline in cognitive function, according to a report published today by University of Maine researchers in the pre-publication online edition of the journal Hypertension. The article will appear in the October issue of the printed journal.



While they characterize the decline as "relatively minor and manageable in terms of everyday functioning," the authors underscore the importance of treatment for high blood pressure. In their study, younger individuals (18-47) performed at a higher level than older individuals (48-83), but they, like older individuals, showed blood pressure-related decline in cognitive function over time.

The study "breaks new ground," and "has far-reaching public health implications," according to an editorial by medical researchers in Belgium and the Netherlands published in the same issue of the journal. It extends what has been viewed as a problem of the elderly to younger people. Hypertension is published by the American Heart Association. The authors are Penelope K. Elias, Merrill F. Elias and Michael A. Robbins of the UMaine Department of Psychology and Marc M. Budge of the Dept. of Geriatric Medicine, Canberra Hospital, Australia.


The report, titled Blood Pressure-Related Cognitive Decline: Does Age Make a Difference?, is based on an analysis of 20 years of blood pressure and cognitive performance data for 529 subjects in the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (MSLS) of Hypertension and Cognitive Functioning. That study was begun by Merrill Elias and David Streeten (Professor of Medicine) of the Health Sciences Center, State University of New York at Syracuse in 1974. It continues with grants from the National Institutes of Health, most recently the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institute on Aging.

Subjects in the study exhibited a normal range of cognitive functioning, as determined by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). People suffering from dementia, diabetes, psychiatric illness, alcoholism, drug abuse or stroke were excluded.

The researchers analyzed data from four types of cognitive function tests focusing on visualization-fluid ability, memory, crystallized-verbal ability and speed. Only tests for visualization-fluid ability showed a statistically significant association with blood pressure in younger and older adults, aged 18-83.

Visualization tests included in the study measure abilities such as picture completion, picture arrangement, block design and object assembly. As a group, the tests require visualization and organization skills and the ability to solve novel problems under time constraints.

Other studies have related high blood pressure to cognitive decline but have not compared younger and older individuals and have not measured cognitive performance over an extended time period.

The results emphasize the importance of reducing high blood pressure even in younger adults, the researchers conclude. "To the extent that BP (blood pressure) effects on cognition are not reversible, it is important to prevent an increase in BP levels as early as possible in the life cycle," they conclude.

Across the population, lowering average systolic (the highest number in blood pressure tests) blood pressure by 20 millimeters mercury or diastolic blood pressure by 10 millimeters mercury would "have a considerable beneficial effect on the preservation of cognitive abilities in the population as a whole," they write.

Merrill F. (Pete) Elias | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umaine.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease
18.01.2019 | University of the Basque Country

nachricht Bioinspired nanoscale drug delivery method developed by WSU, PNNL researchers
10.01.2019 | Washington State University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials

18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

How molecules teeter in a laser field

18.01.2019 | Life Sciences

The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease

18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>