Pharmacological blood pressure lowering in the older hypertensive patients may lead to cognitive impairment by altering neurovascular coupling

Yasir A Alrawi, Ronney B Panerai, Phyo Kyaw Myint, John F Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

9 Citations (Scopus)


The link between both high and low blood pressure (BP) levels and cognitive impairment in later life has been reported in several studies. The mechanisms for this link are unclear but may be related to abnormalities in brain blood flow control. Our previous work has shown that cerebral autoregulation (CA) is unimpaired in both young and older people with hypertension at rest and that ageing does not appear to impact on the increase in the cerebral blood flow response to increased metabolic demand of neurones and other cells of the nervous system due to heightened activity (Neurovascular Coupling, NVC). Nonetheless, it is plausible that NVC efficiency becomes compromised during mental activity in older people with hypertension and that certain classes of anti-hypertensive agents may exacerbate the situation by reducing both NVC and CA contributing to cognitive decline. Such a link would have a major impact on prescribing patterns for anti-hypertensive medication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-307
Number of pages5
JournalMedical hypotheses
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013



  • antihypertensive agents
  • blood pressure
  • cerebrovascular circulation
  • cognition disorders
  • humans
  • hypertension
  • models, theoretical

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