Nav: Home

Why do we develop high blood pressure?

March 09, 2017

Abnormally high blood pressure, or hypertension, may be related to changes in brain activity and blood flow early in life. That's according to a study conducted on a rat model of high blood pressure, published in Experimental Physiology.

In 90-95 percent of people, high blood pressure has no identifiable cause, yet it is a risk factor for diseases of the brain, kidneys, heart, eyes, and other parts of the body (1). Although we know a lot about how blood pressure is regulated, the cause is still a mystery.

The group of researchers at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Russia investigated physiological changes in a rat model called ISIAH, short for inherited stress-induced arterial hypertension. These rats develop high blood pressure at four to six weeks of age, and this is sustained throughout their lifetime.

The researchers compared the high blood pressure rats to a control group with normal blood pressure. As the high blood pressure group aged, the researchers observed changes in rates of blood flow in certain arteries. They also noted changes in brain activity, specifically a decrease in the prefrontal cortex and an increase in the hypothalamus that did not occur in the group of rats with normal blood pressure.

This demonstrates a link between hypertension and changes in brain activity and blood flow. The researchers suggest that hypertension could be caused by these changes taking place early in life. A clearer understanding of this process could help us prevent this condition.

Alisa Seryapina, first author of the study, explained:

'The study of early physiological changes in ISIAH rats may help clarify the cause of high blood pressure. Understanding this could help us prevent the disease early on.'
-end-


The Physiological Society

Related Blood Pressure Articles:

Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.
Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.
The Lancet Neurology: High blood pressure and rising blood pressure between ages 36-53 are associated with smaller brain volume and white matter lesions in later years
A study of the world's oldest, continuously-studied birth cohort tracked blood pressure from early adulthood through to late life and explored its influence on brain pathologies detected using brain scanning in their early 70s.
Blood pressure control is beneficial, is it not?
Until recently, physicians had generally assumed that older adults benefit from keeping their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg.
The 'blue' in blueberries can help lower blood pressure
A new study published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A has found that eating 200g of blueberries every day for a month can lead to an improvement in blood vessel function and a decrease in systolic blood pressure in healthy people.
How to classify high blood pressure in pregnancy?
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) changed their guidance to lower the threshold criteria for hypertension in adults.
Discovery could advance blood pressure treatments
A team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers, working with the US Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA), has discovered genetic associations with blood pressure that could guide future treatments for patients with hypertension.
Blue light can reduce blood pressure
Exposure to blue light decreases blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, a new study from the University of Surrey and Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in collaboration with Philips reports.
Poor oral health linked to higher blood pressure, worse blood pressure control
Poor oral health may interfere with blood pressure control in people diagnosed with hypertension.
Largest ever genetic study of blood pressure
The largest ever genetic analysis of over one million people has identified 535 new genes associated with high blood pressure.
More Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.