The brains of patients with high blood pressure were scanned using MRIs for study by researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The results showed that people with control of their blood pressure have a slow accumulation of white matter lesions, mental decline, and dementia than people who get blood pressure treatment. Getting blood pressure numbers to healthy levels “significantly reduced white matter lesion accumulation in people who had a higher chance of experiencing this kind of damage because they had high blood pressure,” Wright said in an NINDS news release.
The study also showed that people who got standard treatment had slightly less loss of brain volume compared to people who got intensive blood pressure control. However, the difference is very minimal. Studies have shown that intensive treatment of high blood pressure has lowered the risk of mild cognitive which is often an antecedent to dementia. “These findings on white matter lesions — primarily in the aggressive control of blood pressure — are encouraging as we continue to advance the science of understanding and addressing the complexities of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and related dementias,” Dr. Richard Hodes said in the release. He’s the director of the U.S. National Institute on Aging.
Dementia is a syndrome that affects brain activities such as memory and reasoning. The possibilities for people to have mixed dementia can be confirmed with an autopsy. Almost 50 to 70% of Alzheimer’s disease is responsible for dementia. Front temporal dementia or FTD has two variants. Speech variant attacks the part of the brain that deals with language, patients have trouble understanding speech and finding the right word to use when talking. The behavioral variant attacks personality, judgment, and empathy. It leaves the patient apathetic, inappropriate, and compulsive without even realizing that anything is wrong.