If blood pressure remains slightly below the optimum or normal level, then not only can you prevent or reduce the risk of many serious diseases, but you can also stay young with your brain. So if you are satisfied with your normal blood pressure, then it needs to be reconsidered.
In this context, scientists from the Australian National University (ANU) have found in their research that optimal blood pressure helps keep our brain 'young' by at least six months from its actual age. Researchers have said that national health guidelines should be updated to reflect the findings of their research.
This ANU research, published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, also suggests that since high blood pressure makes the brain 'aging' early, it also weakens the brain, which also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia. Professor Nicolas Cherbuin, from the ANU Center for Research on Aging, Health and Wellbeing, said it is not entirely true to think that high blood pressure causes brain disease later on. Rather, it also starts in those people whose blood pressure remains normal.
Study co-author Walter Abhayratna said that if we keep our blood pressure optimal, it helps to keep our brain young and healthy. The brains of middle-aged people with optimum blood pressure - 110/70 - were found to be older than six months, compared to those whose blood pressure remained at 135/85. Researchers studied more than 2000 brain scans of 686 healthy people aged 44 to 76. During the research, the participants' blood pressure was measured up to four times daily for 12 years. Blood pressure data and brain scans were used to assess brain age and health. The findings of the study are more worrying for young people in the age group of 20 to 30 years, as it takes time for them to show the effect of increased BP on the brain.
Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mm Hg, while optimal or healthy blood pressure is considered closer to 110/70. If the systolic pressure remains constant 120 to 129 and the diastolic pressure remains 80 mm Hg, then this condition is considered to be high blood pressure. Systolic pressure refers to the pressure in the arteries produced by the contraction of the heart muscle to pump blood. Whereas diastolic pressure refers to the pressure in the arteries that occurs when the heart muscle relaxes after contraction.