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.
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