How better blood pressure control may benefit the brain

Treating high blood pressure may do more than prevent heart attacks and strokes. In older adults, intensive blood pressure lowering may also conserve brain function, according to a new study.

Published online Oct. 14, 2019, by the journal Circulation, the study included 199 adults ages 75 and older, all with a systolic blood pressure value (the first number in a reading) of 150 or higher. Their brain scans also showed lesions in the brain’s white matter, which contains nerve fibers that send signals from one part of the brain to another. The lesions, which reflect damaged small blood vessels, have been linked to a propensity for thinking and memory problems. About two-thirds of people over age 75 have white matter lesions, as do most people over age 90.

Half of the participants were given medications to lower their systolic blood pressure to 145, while the others got medications to reach a goal of 130 or lower. Three years later, brain scans showed fewer new lesions in the white matter of people whose systolic blood pressure was 130 or lower than in those whose blood pressure target was 145. Effective blood pressure control may be an important way to preserve brain function as people age, according to the study authors.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Luke 6:43-49  “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like:

Matthew 5:3-10  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. …

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Proverbs 16:20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

Ecclesiastes 2:1-26 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. …

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …

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