High blood pressure and diabetes do affect the brain, changing its structure and decreasing the speed of thinking and memory. These two ailments have confirmation of the effect on the body. But a new study showed that they subtly affect the brain and the effects of that phenomenon can be observed in middle age. Michelle Weldsman, who is a neurologist at the University of Oxford, notes that high blood pressure and diabetes of the second degree affect the speed of thinking and memory, they worsen significantly.
The risk factors are known to the medicine that increase the likelihood of dementia in the elderly. A team of scientists analyzed MRI scans of the brain in more than 22,000 patients.
Their data is stored in the biobank and the researchers identified changes in the gray and white matter of the brain, additionally recording the clinical, demographic and cognitive data of the volunteers. The brain is a kind of network that connects different areas in a single coordination of actions and thinking, and they interact through the pathways of white matter.
But the brain volume in the fronto-parietal network, as well as the white matter in general, is influenced by the risk factors formed by the blood supply to the brain. Data from participants between the ages of 44 and 70 who had higher blood pressure than normal showed lower cognitive function.
And people over 70 did not have that effect. However, only 5% of the participants had grade 2 diabetes, with an even lower executive function. It had a slight mental loss and a decrease in the speed of thinking and memory, but these turned out to be completely different from the phenomena observed in dementia.
The scientists emphasized that the factor they found indicates a decrease in brain activity that can lead to the worst results. The changes occur gradually and are almost invisible in daily life. But if they are detected in time, then it is possible to prescribe a treatment that will prevent further negative consequences.