New research shows why anyone with high blood pressure — nearly half of U.S. adults — should seek to lower it. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can accelerate the decline in brain function, including memory, concentration and verbal skills, scientists report today in the journal Hypertension.

The cognitive decline occurs whether the hypertension starts early in life or much later.

“Effectively treating high blood pressure at any age in adulthood could reduce or prevent this acceleration,” says study author Sandhi Barreto, MD, professor of medicine at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil. “Collectively, the…