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The Brain Health crisis stands as one of humankind's most pressing threats, with age-related noncommunicable brain diseases, particularly stroke, and dementia, affecting hundreds of millions annually and jeopardizing the economic well-being of populations worldwide. Epidemiological studies indicate that ≈40% of dementia and 60% of stroke cases are attributable to modifiable risk factors. In this Comments and Opinions article, we underscore the pivotal role of blood pressure (BP) control in reducing suffering, enhancing economic well-being, and promoting healthy longevity for populations worldwide. Emphasizing that BP control is crucial for both brain and heart health, it advocates for heightened awareness, positioning hypertension as a primary focus for preventing dementia and stroke with potential global impact. Despite its significance, BP control encounters global challenges, with proportions of the population maintaining adequately controlled hypertension ranging from 23% to 90%. The World Health Organization estimated that 46% of the 1.28 billion people with hypertension are unaware of their elevated BP. Given the notable disparities in BP management, addressing BP management also contributes to combating significant health inequalities. The next time you are faced with a patient anxious about the prospect of experiencing a fate similar to a parent with dementia or a sister with a stroke, we suggest a straightforward answer for health care providers: start ensuring BP control. BP is a matter of brain health, and it is a matter of our economic future.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date



Department of Neurology, Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (S.D.S., J.R.S., J.R.).