By achieving target blood pressure values differentiated by age and comorbidities, the risk of cardiovascular events can be significantly reduced. However, it is essential to the quality of life the patient spends the extra years of life thus gained.
This is a really complex issue affecting many co-disciplines, but one of the most important of these is the mental health, maintaining cognitive functions, and avoiding dementia. High blood pressure impairs the blood supply to the target organs, including the brain, by damaging the smooth muscle of the arteries and accelerating atherosclerosis, which increases the risk, the frequency and the severity of mental decline in proportion to the degree of tension.
Hypertension and nephrology
This means serious implications not only for the individual, but for the family and the society, as well. A particular contradiction is that treating blood pressure to the target range does not automatically means preserving cognitive functions and avoiding the risk of dementia.
Meta-analyzes of large studies have shown differences between the individual antihypertensive groups have been confirmed in this respect as well. Inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system and calcium antagonists — mainly dihydropyridines — appear to be a priority in this regard.
The authors provide an overview of the relationship between hypertension and mental abilities, with a review of the literature on the effects of antihypertensive therapy, with particular reference to the effects on cognitive function and dementia.