Living with any type of brain damage can present many challenges for Nevada residents, especially older individuals. A new study suggests being more aggressive with blood pressure treatments may help minimize issues with worsening brain damage. Over a three-year period, older subjects that took medication to keep their systolic blood pressure – the pressure in blood vessels when the heart beats – around 130 mm Hg experienced less accumulation of brain lesions that are considered to be harmful.

The study on brain damage and blood pressure noted that results were not the same with subjects taking medication that kept their systolic blood pressure around 145 mm Hg. The subjects studied did not, however, have significant improvements with mobility and cognitive function. For the study, researchers used monitors to track blood pressure around-the-clock, which allowed subjects to be evaluated during their normal daily activities.

Another benefit of keeping blood pressure low, according to the study, is fewer instances of cardiovascular issues like heart attacks and strokes. One of the study’s investigators believes the findings could be significant for older people with vascular disease of the brain and hypertension. Heart disease, in particular, causes a steady buildup of lesions in the brain, which damages brain tissue that contains nerve fibers (white matter). Small arteries in the brain are also damaged. Blood pressure that’s too low can also cause problems. However, rates of fainting and falling were similar in both groups, suggesting that 130 mm HG was not too low of a level to aim for.

Brain damage is often associated with football and other contact sports. However, it can also be the result of a car accident or a slip and fall. If the injury was caused by the negligence of another party, a victim might want to have the assistance of an attorney when seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.