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Blood Pressure vs. Brain Disease

Dr. Helschien has been screaming that high blood pressure is not taken seriously enough. He has been warning that anything over 120/80 needs to be monitored closely. In November, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) finally changed their guidelinesread here. He has ranted that if you ever go to a doctor for any reason and they don’t check your pressure, go find another doctor. He has written “Your Guide to Blood Pressure” and is willing to send it out to anyone. Send an to email doc@level1diagnostics.com.

Dr. Helschien has gone even further to say that there is a link between blood flow to the brain and brain function. A new study was just released backing up this statement, which CNN wrote an article on:

Blood pressure linked to lesions, signs of Alzheimer’s in autopsied brains
By Susan Scutti, CNN, Updated 5:58 AM ET, Thu July 12, 2018

Older people with higher-than-average blood pressure have more markers of brain disease than their average-pressure peers, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology. In particular, the researchers saw increased signs of brain infarcts, or areas of dead tissue caused by a block in the blood supply to the brain, when looking at postmortem tissue under a microscope.

Autopsied brains also revealed that higher-than-average blood pressure is associated with one marker of Alzheimer’s disease.

“We know that blood pressure, especially if high, is related to stroke and also to dementia,” said Dr. Zoe Arvanitakis, lead author of the study and a professor of neurology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

“In this study, we wanted to examine the relationship of blood pressure across a range of values — not just high but also normal and low — to the two most common causes of stroke and dementia,” Arvanitakis said. Those causes are brain infarcts (also called brain lesions) and the signature biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease: the plaques and tangles, both made of different proteins, in the brain.

(Important to note: Dr. Helschien is convinced that there is a patented product that everyone over the age of 20 should be taking to make a difference in plaques and tangles.)

LOOKING AT BRAIN TISSUE

Blood pressure is a measure of the force at which blood flows through our veins, arteries and capillaries, according to the American Heart Association. Too great a force means high pressure; too weak a force means low.

In numbers, high blood pressure is considered anything above 140/90. The first number, the systolic pressure, reflects the pressure in vessels when the heart beats. The second number, diastolic, measures when the heart is at rest. Low blood pressure is purposely left undefined because no number is considered too low as long as there are no troubling symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and problems concentrating.

To understand how blood pressure relates to stroke and dementia, Arvanitakis and her colleagues enlisted the help of 1,288 people, all 65 or older and about two-thirds of them women. Participation included yearly physical exams, some neuropsychological testing and records of their medical histories and medications.

The enrollees also consented to a brain autopsy when they died; just before age 89 was the average.

“What we wanted to do is look at the actual brain tissue to see whether we saw the underlying changes in the brain that cause stroke or the underlying changes in the brain that cause dementia,” Arvanitakis said.

The participants’ data showed an average systolic blood pressure of 134 and an average diastolic blood pressure of 71. Two-thirds had a history of high blood pressure, and 87% had been taking high blood pressure drugs.

“We looked at blood pressure in several different ways,” including how changes in blood pressure — such as declining blood pressure — “might be associated with the brain lesions at the time of death,” Arvanitakis said.

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