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Author: WendyBG Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 886520  
Subject: OT: High blood pressure --> brain damage Date: 11/14/2012 1:34 PM
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http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/high-blood-pressure...


New York Times, November 12, 2012
High Blood Pressure Tied to Brain Changes
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR

High blood pressure may cause harmful brain changes in people as young as 40, a study suggests.

In the report, published online Nov. 2 in Lancet Neurology, researchers measured blood pressure in 579 men and women whose average age was 39, then examined their brains with magnetic resonance imaging. After adjusting for smoking, hypertension treatment and total cranial volume, they found that higher systolic blood pressure — the most common form of hypertension — was associated with decreases in gray matter volume and significant injury to white matter. Moreover, there was a dose-response relationship: The higher the blood pressure, the greater the visible changes. [end quote]


This study had a reasonably large (though not gigantic) data set considering that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is expensive. The amazing thing is that the brain damage caused by high blood pressure is visible in structural damage to the brain even when people are young and don’t have symptoms.

My systolic blood pressure can spike as high as 145 when I feel stressed (for example, if I’m late to an appointment). However, by doing yoga breathing and relaxation, I can bring it down to 109 within a couple of minutes. I’m truly amazed that mood makes such an immediate difference in blood pressure, but I have actually had it measured in a doctor’s office so I know it’s true.

Now that I know that high blood pressure can actually cause physical damage to brain cells, I will make a particular effort to stay calm and do yoga relaxation. If I had known this when I was younger (when I was very stressed at work), I would have made a special effort to learn to relax.

The medical community recommends medication to treat high blood pressure. However, reducing sodium chloride salt in the diet and practicing meditation and relaxation has worked for me. It is definitely worth learning yoga meditation and relaxation techniques.

This may actually be on-topic for the LBYM Board because meditation is free while blood pressure meds are expensive.

Wendy {cross-posted to METAR)
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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868723 of 886520
Subject: Re: OT: High blood pressure --> brain damage Date: 11/14/2012 1:58 PM
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For more about high blood pressure, check out the Fools Under Pressure discussion board--

http://boards.fool.com/high-blood-pressure-and-brain-damage-...

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Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868724 of 886520
Subject: Re: OT: High blood pressure --> brain damage Date: 11/14/2012 11:07 PM
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Wendy, at the age of 68 my cardiologist says my blood pressure is that of a teenager (normal is 105-110/65-70). If it went as high as 145, I would ask to be taken to the emergency room. During stressful times, it may rise to 120/80 or 125/90.

However, when I am stressed, I know my BP is rising. I use biofeedback as a tool, and within seconds, I can tell it is lowering.

The study actually makes a lot of sense.

Donna

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Author: Ringfinger Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868728 of 886520
Subject: Re: OT: High blood pressure --> brain damage Date: 11/15/2012 11:51 AM
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Interesting article. Much to consider.

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Author: Rael137 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868730 of 886520
Subject: Re: OT: High blood pressure --> brain damage Date: 11/15/2012 12:27 PM
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This may actually be on-topic for the LBYM Board because meditation is free while blood pressure meds are expensive.

Meditation may be a wonderful thing but I take exception to the second part of your sentence: blood pressure medication is NOT expensive. There are numerous types of medication on the market and combined with availability of generics and cheap generic programs (from Walmart, Target, etc.), good options are available for less than $10 a month. Yes, that's without insurance.

Blood pressure meds are also designed to flatten out the spikes in pressure and keep levels at a healthier state. High blood pressure is expressed differently in individuals: some people's pressure rises during sleep and peaks in the morning. Many people have hbp which is of unknown cause (genetic? precursor to something else?). Not all high blood pressure is due to stressful situations.

So for people whose pressure is high or borderline, they need to get with their doctors and determine a reliable way of controlling it. That may include one (or more) types of medication.

Please don't fool yourself that you can catch all of your pressure spikes when you're stressed and reduce them with meditation: it's better to prevent the spikes from happening.

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868731 of 886520
Subject: Re: OT: High blood pressure --> brain damage Date: 11/15/2012 12:53 PM
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However, when I am stressed, I know my BP is rising. I use biofeedback as a tool, and within seconds, I can tell it is lowering.

Unless someone's actually testing your BP or you're testing it with a machine, there's no way to really know that you're BP is lowering. Feeling stressed or not stressed is not always related to blood pressure going up - there are some who can experience stress and their BP doesn't rise, and there are many who don't feel stressed but they have high BP.

I personally don't think the 500 sample size is enough - especially if there's no baseline of what their brains looked like before they had high blood pressure.

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Author: sissylue Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868732 of 886520
Subject: Re: OT: High blood pressure --> brain damage Date: 11/15/2012 12:59 PM
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I'm one of those people whose blood pressure spikes at night. 199/101 fast asleep, and still really high when I wake up. Pretty bizaare and a little hard to meditate while snoozing. During the day it would slowly drop doen to normal numbers i.e. @ 113/62. Sort of like my blood sugar level. Which goes up when I'm asleep and NOT eating but drops during the day when I walk etc. So now I'm on medication (as I posted on Diabetic Fools I went from being a pill-free free-spirit to a pill-popping cranky old lady in one fell swoop) and hopefully when I go back in for followup tests the problem will be taken care of (insert observation that being elderly isn't quite as much fun as I thought it was going to be). But the blood pressure meds run me %15 a month w/o insurance and that's pretty cheap as meds go.

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Author: sissylue Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868733 of 886520
Subject: Re: OT: High blood pressure --> brain damage Date: 11/15/2012 1:00 PM
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%15 should be $15

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Author: impolite Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868734 of 886520
Subject: Re: OT: High blood pressure --> brain damage Date: 11/15/2012 1:03 PM
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Unless someone's actually testing your BP or you're testing it with a machine, there's no way to really know that you're BP is lowering. Feeling stressed or not stressed is not always related to blood pressure going up - there are some who can experience stress and their BP doesn't rise, and there are many who don't feel stressed but they have high BP.

On this same note, isn't BP usually called "the silent killer" because of how it goes unnoticed until dire?

As an example, in my last pregnancy my BP was *apparently* spiking pretty frequently towards the end, enough to warrant part time and then full time bed rest for a thankfully short amount of time.

It was only caught by health care professionals - I didn't feel bad. The only physical indication that I was having issues was swelling; the only "symptom" I can now say I had beyond the discomfort of swelling was forgetfulness. Just being a ditz, in general - or at least more so than usual.

Forgetfulness would lend itself to the theory of brain damage however, if even slightly elevated BP like mine was enough to cause changes in my behavior and cognitive abilities.

impolite

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 868796 of 886520
Subject: Re: OT: High blood pressure --> brain damage Date: 11/17/2012 1:56 PM
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Please don't fool yourself that you can catch all of your pressure spikes when you're stressed and reduce them with meditation: it's better to prevent the spikes from happening.

I take hydrochlorothiazide for my blood pressure and it's free with my insurance.
Preventing spikes might be very difficult to do. I live just across the river from lower Manhattan. I can see the World Trade Center from my living room window. Stressful knowing what happened ten years ago.
I just suffered my second DVT in my "good" leg. The first being 10 years ago. Medication is just not doing to do it for me and neither is yoga. I am 64 years old and just grateful these days to wake up in the morning. The meds are mild and keep the blood pressure under control. Thank goodness as my grandmother died from a massive stroke in her early 40's. She was morbidly obese and lived out in the sticks and did not have access to good medical help.

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