Chronic it can generate cumulative damage to our brain and therefore its functions such as memory, reasoning or behavior.
El Litoral / email@example.com
Nearly half of Argentine adults have hypertension and half of them do not know about it. The main factor is the amount of salt in what we eat. Sodium is essential for our body; the problem, as in everything, is the surplus. What is recommended by the WHO is 5 mg of salt (sodium chloride) per day (equivalent to two small sachets of salt). But you have to count the salt that comes with the food, including many times adding more salt to already salty food when it is prepared.
In addition, it is the most obese country in Latin America, almost every third Argentine is overweight and two out of three are overweight (WHO data) due to the use of hypercaloric diet. This is related to a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, both combining the potential for hypertension.
The point is to know whether high blood pressure can affect our mental functions. Dr. Hugo Walderrama, a neurologist, explained that "there is strong scientific evidence that chronic high blood pressure over the years can generate cumulative damage to our brain and therefore over its functions such as memory, reasoning or behavior."
– Does this mean that long-term hypertension can cause senile dementia?
"This is one of the most important risk factors for dementia. It is necessary to clarify that the term "senile" with dementia no longer needs to be used, it was used decades ago because age is considered the only risk factor. Then it was not only known that there were other risk factors such as high blood pressure, but although the probability of suffering from dementia increases with age, there are people who unfortunately suffer from this condition before they are adults. Since it is also erroneous to believe that all elderly people will suffer from dementia, the statistics vary from country to country, but given that over 80 years, 40% of people have different mental functions or behaviors; the others do not,
– Who has hypertension for many years without control, yes or have dementia?
– No, it is not decisive, it is a serious risk factor when nothing is done to prevent, control and prolong over time. This is like buying the prize draw numbers, the more numbers we buy, the more likely it is to get it out, the more risk factors we have for a disease, or the more intense it is, the more likely it is to have it.
– So dementia with "s" because there are more than one type?
– Yes, Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, representing approximately 60% of the cases, and is observed by frequency of another type of dementia called "vascular", then another called "front-temporal" and then another "dementia". by Lewy Bodies. "These are the four most common, but there is less frequency and even recently one more type has been discovered still under investigation.
All of these diseases are grouped with the term dementia because they have a common progressive neuronal death that can alter mental functions and / or behavior, but each one begins in different brain sectors and therefore the symptoms are initially differentiable.
– Hypertension is a risk factor for all types of dementia?
– Previously, high blood pressure was thought to be only a risk factor for dementia called "vascular", the origin of which is damage to the vessels of the brain, such as the arteries. But it is now known that Alzheimer's disease is also the risk factor for the most common type. The most important theory is that hypertension will be one of the factors leading to the accumulation of waste in the brain, mostly altered proteins that have to be eliminated daily and that cause the death of a neuron in Alzheimer's disease. Apart from the fact that this physiopathological mechanism is under study, the close relationship between high blood pressure and Alzheimer's disease has already been established.
– Can hypertension be genetic?
– There is a percentage of inheritance that can vary greatly in every person, but what definitely affects directly and worsens those who have a lot of heritage or a little, are unhealthy behavioral factors such as inadequate diet and sedentary lifestyle. Many times I hear patients say "good doctor, but that's all, my whole family is hypertonic, what will I do".
First, we need to analyze whether the whole family is hypertonic, not because of genetics, but because they all followed unhealthy habits, and second, when "more needs to be done", we must live with strict health habits that, from aggravation of the disease, improving the quality of life. In other words, whether we have genetics against it, we need to have a healthy lifestyle, because lack of it can only lead to the disease. It is often the phrase "for something to die", but we must understand and assume that with these pathologies, one does not die "at stroke" as a whole, but that we are an extension and these consequences, the neck made down and up, destroys our quality of life and that of the people around us because they ultimately bear our care.
– How do you change the unhealthy habit to a healthy one?
– This is a complex question that needs to be summed up and which needs to be individualized, but there are concepts to start with. If we have habits harmful to our health, we first have to learn that they are, for example, this note helps to spread and disclose.
Then you need to think about what you will gain by changing the habit. The brain changes when it sees that the goal to achieve and to be pursued makes sense, for example: "If I correct my diet, I have more chances to continue enjoying my family, friends, work, nature, learning things new, help others, new goals, etc … "which will be limited by a disease that progressively damages our neurons.
On the other hand, the change must be realistic, gradual, set goals close to the ladder, not jumps that do not last over time.
Fortunately, it has been studied that acquiring a healthy habit leads to the fact that it is easier then to continue to acquire others, for example, to eat well in a stable way to leave the sedentary lifestyle.
And the other is to have creativity to make things easier for the brain in this change.
– For example?
– Learn a little more to cook and season better. Once a professional chef friend told me "I put salt on a good dish when it does not match is like putting a great glass of soda with wine if you do that they all look alike" and showed me that there are many spices and spices for Every dish They make it more delicious than salt. Another example is that if I tell some people to practice alone, they do not, but maybe they do play football, dance in the gym, make acuarobic with friends, ride a bike while watching a chapter in a series or listen to music, etc., which means that it is necessary to mix other healthy pleasures among healthy habits in order to reach it.