A rush of blood to the head -- anger increases blood flow

July 3, 2009

Mental stress causes carotid artery dilation and increases brain blood flow. A series of ultrasound experiments, described in BioMed Central's open access journal Cardiovascular Ultrasound, also found that this dilatory reflex was absent in people with high blood pressure.

Tasneem Naqvi and Hahn Hyuhn from the University of Southern California and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center evaluated carotid artery reactivity and brain in response to in 10 healthy young volunteers (aged between 19 and 27 years), 20 older healthy volunteers (aged 38 to 60 years) and in 28 patients with essential (aged 38 to 64 years). They found that in healthy subjects, mental stress caused vasodilation. This was accompanied by a net increase in brain blood flow. In hypertensive subjects, mental stress produced no vasodilation and no significant change in brain blood flow.

During the experiments, the volunteers were set a series of tasks designed to provoke mental stress, including reading, arithmetic and anger recall tests. The researchers used ultrasound imaging to measure the effects of this activity on the and an artery within the brain, while also measuring blood pressure and heart rate.

According to Naqvi, "Inappropriate vasoconstriction, or lack of dilation in response to mental stress in stable coronary heart disease, contributes to the genesis of and confers an increased risk in patients with coronary artery disease. It will be interesting to see whether the lack of mental stress induced dilation we found defines subjects at increased risk of future cerebral events". Lack of required blood flow increase to the brain during mental activities may potentially affect cognition and cerebral performance during complex cerebral tasks.

More information: Cerebrovascular mental stress reactivity is impaired in hypertension, Tasneem Z Naqvi and Hahn K Hyuhn, Cardiovascular Ultrasound (in press), www.cardiovascularultrasound.com/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Synthetic hydrogels deliver cells to repair intestinal injuries

October 23, 2017
By combining engineered polymeric materials known as hydrogels with complex intestinal tissue known as organoids - made from human pluripotent stem cells - researchers have taken an important step toward creating a new technology ...

Study reveals connection between microbiome and autoimmune disorders

October 23, 2017
Many people associate the word "bacteria" with something dirty and disgusting. Dr. Pere Santamaria disagrees. Called the microbiome, the bacteria in our bodies have all kinds of positive effects on our health, Santamaria ...

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

New procedure enables cultivation of human brain sections in the petri dish

October 19, 2017
Researchers at the University of Tübingen have become the first to keep human brain tissue alive outside the body for several weeks. The researchers, headed by Dr. Niklas Schwarz, Dr. Henner Koch and Dr. Thomas Wuttke at ...

Cancer drug found to offer promising results in treating sepsis in test mice

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A combined team of researchers from China and the U.S. has found that a drug commonly used to treat lung cancer in humans offers a degree of protection against sepsis in test mice. In their paper published ...

Tracing cell death pathway points to drug targets for brain damage, kidney injury, asthma

October 19, 2017
University of Pittsburgh scientists are unlocking the complexities of a recently discovered cell death process that plays a key role in health and disease, and new findings link their discovery to asthma, kidney injury and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.