According to The American Heart Association, one in every three American adults suffers from hypertension, or high blood pressure. Hypertension is the modern epidemic from which even young adults are not safe. It is estimated that nearly two million American teenagers and children have high blood pressure. Though genes play a role in this disease, largely hypertension occurs due to poor lifestyle and eating habits.
Hypertension along with itself brings other fatal diseases. Hypertension patients are more likely to develop stroke, aneurysm, and stroke. If that was not enough, new studies show that hypertension puts people at an increased risk to Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Cyrus Raji, who is a co-author of a study done to better understand the link between hypertension and Alzheimer’s, points that hypertension patients are more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s occurs when the blood flow to certain parts of the brain is blocked. As in hypertension the blood carrying capacity of arteries is badly hit, the high blood pressure patients have more chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
In the study, a form of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) was used to measure the flow of blood to the brain. The findings showed that hypertension patients had a decreased flow of blood to their brains and patients who had both hypertension and Alzheimer’s recorded the lowest blood flow to the brain.
Dr. Oscar Lopez, another co-author of this study, said that this new study unambiguously shows that good vascular health is essential for good brain health. He also said that in case of Alzheimer’s patients too, it is imperative to detect hypertension early and control the condition.
This new study shows that while Alzheimer’s is not caused by hypertension, the latter increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Prevent hypertension and Alzheimer’s disease naturally
While, most people acknowledge that hypertension is more of a lifestyle disease, only few know that by making smart lifestyle and diet choices, Alzheimer’s too can be prevented.
To reduce your risk to Alzheimer’s and hypertension, eat healthy food. Stay away from processed and junk foods, as they contain high amount of sodium. Also, avoid foods, such as corn syrup, which contains mercury, a component that is known to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. Include foods, such as brown rice, fresh vegetables and fruits, garlic, pecans, almonds, and beet juice in your diet – all of these help in controlling the blood pressure.
Further, exercise regularly to reduce your risk to Alzheimer’s and hypertension. It is necessary that you keep yourself physically fit, as well as mentally fit. If you wish to learn to keep your heart and mind in the best shape, see our high blood pressure exercises guide and Alzheimer’s prevention exercises guide.