Hypertension is an important risk factor for cerebrovascular disease including stroke and has also a role in the development of vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) and vascular dementia (VaD). Research on pathophysiology and treatment of hypertensive brain damage may benefit from the availability of animal models. This paper has reviewed the main animal models of hypertension in which brain damage is documented. Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) represent the animal model more largely used. In these rats cerebrovascular changes, brain atrophy, loss of nerve cells in cerebrocortical areas, and glial reaction were documented. Several changes observed in SHR are similar to those found by in vivo imaging studies in essential hypertensives. It is documented that brain gets benefit from lowering abnormally elevated blood pressure and that reduction of hypertension protects brain from stroke and probably reduces the incidence of VaD. The influence of anti-hypertensive treatment on brain structure and function in animal models of hypertension is reviewed. Among classes of drugs investigated, dihydropyridine-type Ca2+ antagonists were those with a most documented protective effect on hypertensive brain damage. Limits and perspectives in the use of animal models for assessing brain damage caused by hypertension and protection from it are discussed.
|Titolo:||Arterial hypertension and brain damage - evidence from animal models (review)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2003|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo|