As we age, several factors can contribute to a decline in brainpower, including neurodegeneration, reduced blood flow, changes in brain chemistry, sleep changes, decreased plasticity, and chronic health conditions. Neurodegeneration involves the deterioration of certain brain cells over time and can be caused by factors such as genetics, disease, and oxidative stress.
Reduced blood flow to the brain, caused by aging, can decrease the supply of essential nutrients and oxygen, leading to a decline in brain function. Changes in brain chemistry, such as alterations in neurotransmitter levels, can also affect brain function. Sleep patterns can change with age, leading to a decline in the quality of sleep and a subsequent decline in brain function.
Intensive treatment of high blood pressure can help the brain
The preliminary results of a study presented at the 2023 American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference, show that more intensive treatment of high blood pressure could lead to positive changes in the brain structure that helps clear toxins. News-medical.net tells us more.
We’re talking about the first study to investigate the effect of intensive blood pressure treatment on the volume of the brain’s perivascular spaces, which are crucial for removing waste from the brain. With age and an increase in cardiovascular risk factors, these areas of the brain tend to enlarge, but the new findings suggest that intensive treatment of high blood pressure could help slow down or even reverse this process.
MRI scans of the brain for 658 participants of an average age of 67 years from the SPRINT-MIND MRI substudy were analyzed by the researchers.
While some decline in brain function is normal as we age, it is possible to reduce the impact of these factors through lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet, staying physically active, getting enough sleep, and engaging in mentally stimulating activities.