Researchers from Cytology and Genetics in Russia recently published their findings on the development of high blood pressure in people. The study was published in Experimental Physiology and studied the physiological changes in rats over time. These physiological changes were called inherited stress-induced arterial hypertension (ISIAH).
The threat of high blood pressure or hypertension increases as a person ages and can be found in more men than women. High blood pressure can be known to cause coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, and chronic kidney disease in people, especially if left untreated. This medical condition can be caused by genetics or lifestyle factors including excess salt, excess body weight, smoking, and alcohol. A small percentage of people develops high blood pressure with no cause.
Eating healthier, getting more exercise, and medication can lower blood pressure and can reduce the risk of health complications. Symptoms of high blood pressure are rare and are usually identified by a health screening from a physician. Some people experience headaches, being lightheaded, vertigo, altered vision, or fainting episodes.
The researchers studied the ISIAH in rats that developed high blood pressure at a young age – four to six weeks, according to The Physiological Society. The rats had high blood pressure throughout the rest of their lives. Comparing the hypertension in rats to a control group with normal blood pressure, researchers discussed the “changes in rates of blood flow in certain arteries.” Also discovered were shifts in the brain activity of the rats. The prefrontal cortex functions decreased while the hypothalamus increased in the brains of rats with high blood pressure. The prefrontal cortex of the brain is associated with complex cognitive behavior and decision-making while the hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls a variety of functions and systems. This includes the nervous and endocrine systems and is underneath the thalamus.
Researchers drew the conclusion that there was a link between high blood pressure and the blood flow in the rats’ brains. These changes could occur “early in life.” Alisa Seryapina, the lead author of the study to The Physiological Society, said that the initial changes in the rat brain could help researchers “prevent the disease early on.” Seryapina went on to say that studying the “early” changes could pinpoint the actual cause of high blood pressure. More research is needed to prove the accuracy of the survey.
By Cheryl Werber