Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Previous research has suggested that nocturnal blood pressure (blood pressure during sleep) is more predictive of cardiovascular events than daytime blood pressure. However, the effect of nocturnal blood pressure on cognitive function in midlife, especially for young adults, has not been studied before.
The long-term clinical significance of the findings is that nocturnal blood pressure measurements in younger adults could be potentially useful to identify those who may be at risk for developing lower cognitive function in midlife.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Study results suggest that collecting data on ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in addition to office blood pressure monitoring seems to be a very important strategy to identify people who are at risk for developing low cognitive executive function in the future.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Understanding the underlying pathways (e.g., vascular dysfunction, brain atrophy, or impaired brain integrity) between higher nocturnal blood pressure and cognitive dysfunction, using brain MRI is important.
From our data, whether abnormal nocturnal blood pressure in young adults is simply markers of concurrent pathophysiology (if so, what pathophysiology ?) or related in a causal pathway to pathogenesis in cognitive dysfunction remains uncertain. Further research is warranted, exploring whether improving nocturnal blood pressure abnormalities in young adults can prevent lower cognitive function in those middle-aged or over.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yuichiro Yano MD (2015). Abnormal Nocturnal Blood Pressure In Young Adults May Lead To Later Cognitive Impairments