Multi-disciplinary research


Effects of intensive BP lowering on cerebral blood flow in older people with hypertension

Project Leader(s): Prof. Gary Ford
Staff: Prof John O’Brien, Prof Andy Blamire, Dr Jiabao He, Dr Michael Firbank
Contact: Prof Gary Ford
Sponsors: BRC in Ageing

Hypertension is associated with reduced cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cognitive impairment. Intensive (<130/80mmHg) blood pressure (BP) lowering might reduce cardiovascular risk and prevent cognitive decline but there are concerns that this might produce cerebral hypoperfusion and falls triggered by hypotension in older people. We determined the effect of intensive BP lowering on CBF in hypertensive elderly subjects.  37 individuals >70 years with systolic hypertension were recruited from primary care and randomised to receive intensive (BP < 130/80mmHg) or usual (BP < 140/85mmHg) BP lowering.  CBF, determined using 3T arterial spin labelling MRI, was performed at baseline and after 12 weeks treatment. Following treatment BP was reduced more in the intensive group.  CBF increased significantly in the intensive group but was unchanged in the group on standard treatment. Intensive BP lowering in older people with hypertension increases CBF, while BP lowering to usual target does not effect a change in CBF.


Professor Andrew Blamire
Professor of Magnetic Resonance Physics

Dr Michael Firbank
Visiting Researcher

Professor Gary Ford

Professor John O'Brien
Strategic Research Adviser