Cardiovascular Issue Specialists
The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) convened experts from around the world to examine the impact of cardiovascular risk factors on brain health. GCBH issue experts carefully considered how high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke, as well as lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise, influence brain health in adults age 50 and over. The GCBH concluded that the best evidence to date shows us “what’s good for the heart is good for the brain.” Their consensus puts powerful tools in the hands of adults wanting to protect their brain as they age.
“Even though we’re learning more and more that this is an important relationship, most people aren’t aware of it. We hope that the report encourages adults to consider both their heart health and brain health and also talk to their health care providers,” said Kristine Yaffe, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology at the University of California – San Francisco and Governance Committee lead for this report.
The GCBH adopted 10 recommendations for individuals to incorporate into their lives to keep heart and blood vessels healthy and reduce the risk for cognitive decline and dementia. These recommendations and 16 practical tips are provided in the final report approved by the GCBH Governance Committee in 2020. Liaisons from numerous civic and nonprofit organizations with expertise in heart and brain health helped develop these recommendations for adults 50+ and their health care providers.
Among the report recommendations is to check your blood pressure and cholesterol regularly being very careful to keep them at healthy levels, keep your blood sugar within a healthy range, and seek treatment if you have diabetes. Adopting healthy life-style habits can improve cardiovascular and brain health, according to the experts, who recommend maintaining a healthy weight through a balance of good nutrition and exercise. Managing stress and getting adequate sleep can help protect the brain as well, per the report findings.
To find out more about how cardiovascular risks affect brain health, read this article by Rachel Nania.