Functional Neurology
of Middlesex County
Gregory Symko, D.C., D.A.B.C.N.
747 Main Street Suite 205
Concord, MA 01742
Directions & Office Hours

Is There a Brain Mechanism Problem That Can Explain High Blood Pressure?

human-brain_1001_600x450If you have been diagnosed with essential hypertension, that means there is no known reason why you have high blood pressure, you just have it.  I personally am frustrated by this diagnosis.  You see, I was diagnosed with it before my stroke and guess what? After my stroke it got much worse.

The tension in your blood walls is controlled by a neurological mechanism and a chemical released by the cells in your blood vessels called Nitric Oxide. The cells in the walls of blood vessels can increase blood flow to certain areas by increasing the amount of this chemical.

Once the chemical is released, the cell walls react by increasing their size so more blood can flow and blood pressure is lowered.  Many of the supplements you hear advertised on the radio use this fact to sell supplements to people with high blood pressure. Many times this is not enough to reduce blood pressure and medication is the only intervention that seems to help unless that is, you understand the brain and how it affects blood pressure.

There is a part of the nervous system called the Mesencephalon.   It is beginning of the sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for increasing heart rate and blood pressure.  Normally this area is kept in check by your frontal lobes and another part of the nervous system called the PMRF.  If either of these has a problem, the Mesencephalon can get overexcited. Then your heart can race and your blood pressure can increase.

Has anyone told you that they have “sneaky blood pressure”?  Well, that is the Mesencephalon going through periods of calm and excitation.  Can this be helped?  Yes, if you know what to look for.  If you have anxiety, high blood pressure, or racing heart rate, they can all mean certain areas of the brain are not working correctly.  If these areas can be made to work again, the blood pressure could be normalized.