Lowering blood pressure is important as elevated levels are known to contribute to a higher risk of cardiovascular events and stroke, but did you know that lowering your blood pressure can benefit other parts of your body – aside from your heart?
A study has found that reducing risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure, can go a long way in preventing cognitive impairment, which is a precursor to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This may benefit you in the long run, protecting you from these more serious brain disorders. The study suggests that mild cognitive impairment progresses to Alzheimer’s disease in about 10 to 15 percent of cases each year. (Get a razor-sharp brain at any age.)
The researchers speculate that methods, both lifestyle and medical, that reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other risk factors contributing to heart disease also work to support healthy blood vessels, which are necessary for healthy brain function.
The study “highlights the importance of midlife vascular risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, which, unlike age and genetics, can be modified,” explained Whitney Wharton who was not involved in the study.
The researchers followed 638 men and women over the age of 55 for five years. All the participants had some level of memory and cognitive decline which was noticeable but did not impact their daily functioning.
The study reinforces the importance of maintaining healthy blood pressure numbers, not only for your heart but for your brain, too. Lifestyle changes can go a long way in lowering your blood pressure. These involve eating a healthy diet, reducing sodium intake, exercising regularly, not smoking, reducing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and watching your alcohol intake. (Improve circulation, memory, and much more with this miracle molecule.)
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