Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In a new study, neuroscientists at Oxford University have found that raised blood pressure and diabetes in mid-life alter brain structure to slow thinking speed and memory.

Close up of multiple head and brain MRI imaging

Looking at results from 22,000 volunteers in the UK Biobank who underwent brain scanning, the scientists found that raised blood pressure and diabetes significantly impaired the brain’s cognitive functions, specifically the performance of thinking speed and short-term memory.

Masud Husain, Professor of Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and lead investigator of the study, said, ‘For blood pressure, every mm of pressure in your arteries counts – even in people who aren’t on any treatment. For people who are on treatment, systolic blood pressures above 140 mm were associated with lower cognitive performance. The higher the pressure, the worse it is.’

The full story is available on the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences website

This story is also featured on the University of Oxford website

Similar stories

Oxford-led team given £6.6m to map uncharted networks in the progression of Parkinson’s

A major new $9 million (£6.6 million) project funded by the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) initiative will map the original circuits vulnerable to Parkinson’s on an unprecedented scale. It is the only UK-led ASAP project this year, and the first ever to be led by Oxford.

Tamoxifen repurposing study shows no benefit in treating deadly fungal meningitis

Hopes that tamoxifen could improve survival for a deadly form of fungal meningitis have been dashed by the results of a clinical trial conducted by University of Oxford researchers and published today in eLife.

Oxford researchers awarded funding to complete community COVID-19 antiviral trial

Researchers from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, have today announced that they have been awarded funding through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to work with several UK universities and carry out a first-of-its-kind clinical trial, testing novel antiviral COVID-19 treatments for use early on in the illness by people in the community with COVID-19 who are at higher risk of complications.

New therapeutic targets identified to treat inflammatory bowel disease

Millions of patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are given fresh hope as a new study shows why some of them do not respond to current treatments.

Oxford researchers call for an urgent re-evaluation of “weak” opioid safety profile

A new study associates dispensation doses of tramadol with increased risk of mortality, cardiovascular events, and fractures compared to the use of codeine to treat pain.

Labelling proteins through the diet gives new insights into how collagen-rich tissues change as we age

A new study, published in eLife, uses advanced tissue analysis technology to show how the incorporation of new proteins changes in bone and cartilage with age.