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Memory tasks require more coordinated brain blood flow for people with high blood pressure
Date:9/27/2007

y, we looked at the correlation between the activation of those areas. We wanted to see if the areas tend to be activated in a correlated way; so, if you had a lot of activation in the prefrontal area, did you also have a lot of activation in the parietal area" he said. When we asked that question in our first study, we found out that the correlation in those areas was higher in people with high blood pressure than it was in people who didnt have high blood pressure. That means that more brain tissue was getting coordinated during the memory task in people with high blood pressure than in those with normal blood pressure.

After a year of treatment for their high blood pressure, we expected that wed find that the correlation between those areas actually would decrease; so, the patients treated with hypertensive medication would look more like those with normal blood pressure. Instead, the correlation actually increased. After treatment the hypertensive patients were activating even more blood flow to those areas at the same time, Jennings said.

According to Jennings, the coordination between brain areas doing the memory task was more than twice as much in the hypertensive patients after treatment as compared to before treatmentand this difference was even bigger compared to people without hypertension.

Further research is needed to find out what this means to memory function, and whether having hypertension and taking antihypertensives might have the unanticipated effects of changing brain function and causing mental fatigue, he said.

This research is reassuring to those concerned about hypertension therapys adverse effects, particularly cognitive effects. Treating hypertension is not only beneficial for extending life, but also for improving the quality of life, said Daniel W. Jones, M.D., American Heart Association President, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Dean, School of Medicine, and Herbert G. Langford Professor of Medicine, Universi
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Contact: Karen Astle
karen.astle@heart.org
214-706-1392
American Heart Association
Source:Eurekalert

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