Research suggests high blood pressure is at the heart of rapid cognitive decline. So, there you have it.
We know that it’s extremely important to take care of our hearts. But most of us know this because we’ve been told, over and over again, that a staggering 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States – that’s 1 in every 4 deaths – annually! New research, however, indicates that high blood pressure can also significantly impact our mental health – so pay attention.
According to Psychology Today: “It’s becoming increasingly clear that high blood pressure, or hypertension, is at the root of much cognitive decline that has previously been attributed to aging. The more that scientists scrutinize brain function, and especially memory, the more they conclude that we have the ability to keep our memory and spirit strong well into old age.”
In other words, if we can take care of our hearts, we can keep our cognitive function well into our golden years. Experts on Medicine.net note that “…young people can…protect their long-term heart health, [by] reducing [their] sodium intake, maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular physical activity… following through on any recommended medical treatments for high blood pressure.”
So, we figured it’s pretty important for all of us to get a better understanding of what blood pressure is, and how it works. Thanks to a group of super talented individuals, you can learn about the mechanics of your heart. Thanks TED-ED, as usual!
Now that you know high blood pressure can effect your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems as well as disrupt hormone function, all of which can influence our mental states – we hope you implement the suggested lifestyle changes. You know, for your mental and physical health!
By protect your heart and you can protect your mind, in effect improving your overall quality of life.
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Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.
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