Many people worry that dementia will come when they get older. At times like this, it’s better to pay attention to exercise.
Contrary to concern, not everyone experiences dementia. However, there are people who are more likely to develop dementia. Studies have shown that chronic hypotension is a risk group for dementia.
This is the content of a paper by a Norwegian research team published in 2017 in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, which conducted a follow-up survey of 24,000 adults for 27 years. According to the research team, hypotension was an important predictor of cognitive decline and the likelihood of dementia. The association was also revealed by adjusting variables such as age, sex, weight, cardiovascular and kidney status, and diabetes.
With hypotension, blood flow to the brain decreases. It is assumed that such insufficient blood flow can lead to the development of dementia.
Even slightly lower blood pressure levels that do not meet the medically’low blood pressure’ criteria have been shown to affect cognitive function.
The research team at Binghamton University’s Clinical Science & Engineering Lab is conducting a study to identify when doctors should actively intervene to improve patients’ blood pressure. These studies are being conducted on adults 50 years of age or older who have a higher education level than high school graduation.
According to an analysis of the research team that classified cognitive function status as 0-100 points using a quantitative evaluation tool that grasps cognitive abilities, a score exceeding 75 points is normal cognitive function, and 50-75 points are cognitive functions that are relatively more likely to develop dementia. If the score is less than 50, symptoms of dementia can be seen in various forms.
The research team compared these cognitive function scores of participants between the ages of 50 and 95 with blood pressure at rest. At rest, blood pressure is measured after sitting for 10 to 15 minutes and taking a break.
The research team compared the cognitive function score with the diastolic blood pressure by confirming that diastolic blood pressure among systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure was a more reliable predictor of cognitive performance through previous studies.
As a result, the number of people with low diastolic blood pressure was more than expected. More than 85% of the test participants were lower than normal blood pressure levels.
To improve low blood pressure levels, you need to strengthen the soleus muscles
Low blood pressure generally refers to the level of dizziness or blurred vision. Numerically, it means when the diastolic blood pressure is lower than 60mmHg. In general, if the blood pressure level does not drop significantly like this, it is not considered a level of concern.
However, according to this study, cognitive ability declined even when the hypotension level was higher than the normal level of 80mmHg.
So, can’t blood pressure levels be improved? Low diastolic blood pressure levels can be caused by certain medications, heart failure, and other diseases. However, for most people, the heart’s ability to pump blood is caused by a drop in cardiac output. Conversely, this means that the amount of blood returned to the heart from each body part also drops.
The research team considered that an important condition for improving this was to improve the soleus muscle, a muscle in the calf area. This muscle plays an important role in pumping up the blood underneath it into the heart. In particular, people who have weak leg muscles due to long sitting periods may have weaker blood pumping power, so these muscles need to be strengthened even in the event of Corona 19.
To strengthen this muscle, exercise such as standing on tiptoe or maintaining a squat position can help. There are also ways to stimulate the soleus muscles of the calf electrically or mechanically.
There is no cure for dementia yet. Therefore, the current best method is to use a method to delay dementia. As low blood pressure is estimated to increase the risk of dementia, people with low blood pressure should eat healthy and exercise such as strengthening the soleus muscles so that the cardio-cerebrovascular system works more smoothly.
Reporter Moon Se-young [email protected]
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