This project will compare brain blood flow at rest, and during exercise in adults with and without hypertension. Adults with hypertension (high blood pressure) have poor cerebral (brain) blood flow, perfusion and vascular function at rest, and are at future risk of cognitive decline and dementia. There is also evidence to show that the regulation of blood flow to the brain is altered in adults with hypertension, such that blood flow to the brainstem (which controls blood pressure) is dysfunctional. In healthy adults, exercise increases cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular function. If blood flow and shear stress (the stimulus for vascular adaptation) to the brain could be enhanced with exercise, this would likely improve cerebrovascular function in adults with hypertension. Conversely, the high blood pressure response to exercise in adults with hypertension may serve to inhibit increases in brain blood flow during exercise. As such, whether exercise increases blood flow to the brain in adults with hypertension is unknown.

This is a collaborative study with Professor Shigehiko Ogoh from Toyo University, Japan.

Project members

The University of Queensland researchers involved in this project are:

Dr Tom Bailey

Adjunct Senior Fellow
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences
Honorary Senior Fellow
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work

Professor Jeff Coombes

Professor & Director
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences

Professor Michael Stowasser

The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Faculty of Medicine
Princess Alexandra Hospital Southside Clinical Unit, Faculty of Medicine