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Study links blood pressure to early life changes in brain activity, blood flow

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Unhealthy gut bacteria may also hike blood pressure

WASHINGTON —  Abnormally high blood pressure is linked to changes in brain activity and blood flow early in life, according to a study conducted on a rat model of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure — which is also often called the silent killer because it typically has no symptoms until after it has done significant damage to the heart and the arteries — is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high.

For the study, published in Experimental Physiology, the team investigated physiological changes in a rat model called ISIAH, short for inherited stress-induced arterial hypertension.

High blood pressure — in 90-95 per cent of people — has no identifiable cause, yet it is a risk factor for diseases of the brain, kidneys, heart, eyes, and other parts of the body, said a group of researchers at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Russia.

These rats develop high blood pressure at four to six weeks of age, and this is sustained throughout their lifetime.

“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 from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics.

As the rats in high blood pressure group grew older, changes in rates of blood flow in certain arteries were observed.

With Agency Inputs

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Kidney disease may up risk of diabetes

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Kidney disease may up risk of diabetes. Representational image.

KATHMANDU — It is known that diabetes increase a person’s risk of kidney disease. But, now a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that the converse also is true which means Kidney dysfunction also increases the risk of diabetes.

The researchers deduced that a likely culprit of the two-way relationship between kidney disease and diabetes is urea. The risk may be attributed to the rising level of urea — the nitrogen-containing waste product in blood, which comes from the breakdown of protein in foods.

“We have known for a long time that diabetes is a major risk factor for kidney disease, but now we have a better understanding that kidney disease, through elevated levels of urea, also raises the risk of diabetes,” said the Ziyad Al-Aly, Assistant Professor at the Washington University in St. Louis.

The nitrogen-containing waste product in blood comes from the breakdown of protein in foods. Kidneys normally remove urea from the blood, but it can build up when kidney function slows down.

Kidneys normally remove urea from the blood, but it can build up when kidney function slows down, resulting in greater insulin resistance as well as secretion in the body.

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“When urea builds up in the blood because of kidney dysfunction, it often results in increased insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion,” Ziyad added.

The findings are significant because urea levels can be lowered through medication, diet — for example, by eating less protein — and other means, thereby allowing for improved treatment and possible prevention of diabetes, the researchers said.

For the study, the team evaluated the records of 1.3 million adults without diabetes over a five-year period, beginning in 2003.

Out of these, 117,000 of those without diabetes — or 9 per cent — had elevated urea levels, signalling poor kidney function and were at 23 per cent higher risk of developing diabetes .

The study, conducted in collaboration with the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System, is published December 11 in Kidney International journal.

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