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High Blood Pressure Clouds Thinking

High Blood Pressure Clouds ThinkingA new study from North Carolina State University shows that increased blood pressure in older adults is directly related to decreased cognitive functioning, particularly among seniors with already high blood pressure.

This means that stressful situations may make it more difficult for some seniors to think clearly.

Dr. Jason Allaire, an assistant professor of psychology at NC State who co-authored the study, explains that study subjects whose average systolic blood pressure was 130 or higher saw a significant decrease in cognitive function when their blood pressure spiked.

However, Allaire notes, study subjects whose average blood pressure was low or normal saw no change in their cognitive functioning — even when their blood pressure shot up.

Specifically, Allaire says, the study shows a link between blood pressure spikes in seniors with high blood pressure and a decrease in their inductive reasoning.

“Inductive reasoning is important,” Allaire says, “because it is essentially the ability to work flexibly with unfamiliar information and find solutions.”

Allaire says the findings may indicate that mental stress is partially responsible for the increase in blood pressure — and the corresponding breakdown in cognitive functioning. However, Allaire notes that normal fluctuations in blood pressure likely play a role as well.

Source: North Carolina State University

High Blood Pressure Clouds Thinking

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). High Blood Pressure Clouds Thinking. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/12/16/high-blood-pressure-clouds-thinking/3512.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.