The effects of hypertension on the paediatric brain: A justifiable concern

Madhu Sharma, Juan C. Kupferman, Yuri Brosgol, Kara Paterno, Sharon Goodman, Isak Prohovnik, Fenella J. Kirkham, Steven G. Pavlakis

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The prevalence of hypertension in children is increasing but its neurological effects are under-recognised. Here, we describe acute and chronic effects of childhood hypertension on the nervous system. Acute neurological involvement ranges from posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome to, possibly, infarction and haemorrhage. Children with chronic hypertension are likely to have learning disabilities and deficiencies in executive function, which are potentially reversible with antihypertensive treatment. These cognitive defects may be secondary to abnormal regulation of cerebral blood flow. Raised blood pressure in childhood could also contribute to the early development of atherosclerosis, which can have both short-term and long-term adverse effects on vasculature. Clinical studies are needed to better define the full clinical range of paediatric hypertension on a child's nervous system. Furthermore, accurate biomarkers to define cognitive abnormalities and cerebral involvement need to be identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-940
Number of pages8
JournalThe Lancet Neurology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of hypertension on the paediatric brain: A justifiable concern'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this