SPRINT-ing to Slow Age-Related Brain Damage.

Position:BLOOD PRESSURE CONTROL - Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial

In a nationwide study, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brains of participants in the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) and found that intensively controlling a person's blood pressure was more effective at slowing the accumulation of white matter lesions in the brain than standard treatment of high blood pressure. The results complement a previous study published by the same research group which showed that intensive treatment significantly lowered the chances that participants developed mild cognitive impairment.

'These initial results support a growing body of evidence suggesting that controlling blood pressure may not only reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease but of age-related cognitive loss," says Walter J. Koroshetz, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "I strongly urge people to know your blood pressure and discuss with your doctors how to optimize control. It may be a key to your future brain health."

Brain white matter is made up of billions of thin nerve fibers, called axons, that connect the neurons with each other. The fibers are covered by myelin, a white fatty coating that...

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