Astudy of 55 individuals 65 years and older with high systolic blood pressure found that effective blood pressure therapy creates more blood flow to the brain. The participant groups consisted of 19 patients with normal blood pressure, 18 patients with high blood pressure who were successfully controlled with treatment, and 18 patients with uncontrolled systolic pressure >160 mm Hg at the beginning of the study.
During the 6-month study, the uncontrolled group received aggressive treatment with lisinopril and other agents. The other 2 groups were only monitored during the study. The researchers found that, after 6 months, the uncontrolled group had dramatic increases in cerebral blood flow velocity and carotid artery flexibility on Doppler ultrasound imaging. The same result was not observed in the other 2 groups. None of the participants developed reduced blood flow to the brain. (The findings were reported in Hypertension, February 2005.)