High Blood Pressure can damage the brain

A recent research carried on by the University Of California (UC) has found that the high blood pressure among young-middle aged people is leading to accelerated brain damage. Even in those whose blood pressure would not be considered high, to warrant clinical intervention are at the risk of developing brain damage. Even a slight rise in blood pressure can have a disastrous effect on the brain and this damage is not just confined only with older people. The researchers state that their findings lays bare the fact about the need for “early and optimum control of blood pressure”.

The research team analyzed the blood pressure readings and brain scans of almost 579 people taking part in the Framingham Heart Study, a longitudinal investigation that started following the cardiovascular health of the people living in Framingham – Massachusetts over sixty years ago. The participants in this study were mostly in the age group of late thirty’s are when they were joined this part of the study in the year-2009.

Shocking your memory awake

A University of California at Los Angeles study has found that light shocks to a person’s brain before they learnt a new task helped strengthen their memory. This study was performed on seven epilepsy patients and researchers feel that it may have implications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  With the rapid ageing of the U.S. population there is a sense of urgency within the government as well as the medical community about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s which mostly affects the elderly, leaving them completely dependent others for their daily care.

The patients who took part in this study were fitted with pacemakers known as deep brain stimulators to help find the source of their epileptic seizures; the team took this chance to study the effects of stimulating the brain on memory. These pacemakers known as deep brain stimulators made by Medtronic and St. Jude Medical center are already in use to calm the muscle tremors that occur with Parkinson’s disease, and other such disorders. These pacemakers are implanted in the chest under the skin, and have wires that lead up to tiny electrodes that are implanted deep in the brain and produce electrical impulses.

 

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