Hypertension Hampers Blood Flow to the Brain
Reported July 08, 2009
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Anger may make you red in the face, but new
research shows that rush of blood may be cut off by high blood pressure --
posing a potential risk to the brain.
The University of Southern California and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
evaluated 30 healthy volunteers (19 to 60 years of age) and 28 patients with
high blood pressure (38 to 64 years of age). Participants took part in
numerous tasks provoking anger and mental stress involving reading and
arithmetic. Researchers used ultrasound imaging to analyze carotid artery
reactivity and brain blood flow in response to the mental stress.
In the healthy volunteers, mental stress caused vasodilatation and a net
increase in brain blood flow. These results were absent in the patients with
high blood pressure.
"Inappropriate vasoconstriction, or lack of dilation in response to mental
stress in stable coronary heart disease, contributes to the genesis of
myocardial ischemia and confers an increased risk in patients with coronary
artery disease," Tasneem Naqvi, M.D., of the University of Southern
California and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, was quoted as saying. "It will
be interesting to see whether the lack of mental-stress-induced dilation we
found defines subjects at increased risk of future cerebral events."
SOURCE: BioMed Central's open access journal, Cardiovascular Ultrasound