The culprit behind high pressure is now identified by Russian researchers as the result of decrease in the prefrontal cortex and increase in the hypothalamus areas of the brain, said researchers from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Russia.
The study of early signs of hypertension in association with emotional stress was studied based on MRI technique to evaluate the hemodynamic and brain metabolites changes in one and 3 month old ISIAH rats (10 male rats) with stress-sensitive arterial hypertension (ISIAH) and in control normal WAG rats (8 male rats), said researchers in their paper.
In the ISIAH rats, age-dependent increase in the blood pressure was linked with increased blood flow through the renal arteries and decreased blood flow in the lower part of abdominal aorta. The renal vascular resistance in the ISIAH rats decreased as they aged, though, at both ages it remained higher than in the WAG rats, said the abstract of the paper published online.
Thus, the increased hypertension in the ISIAH rats was associated with increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, besides an increase in energetic activity and prevalence of excitatory neurotransmitters in hypothalamus area, said researchers.
“The study of early physiological changes may help clarify the cause of high blood pressure. Understanding this could help us prevent the disease early on,” said led author Alisa Seryapina.
The high blood pressure is known as the silent killer as it shows no symptoms until it has done enough damage to the arteries. However, in more than 90% of the cases, high blood pressure has no identifiable cause. Hypertension not only affects the brain but also kidneys, heart, eyes, and other parts of the body, said the study which was published in Experimental Physiology.