JUL 16, 2018 05:21 AM PDT

Can a Necktie Cut Off Blood Flow to the Brain?

4 10 574

While many workplaces are becoming more casual, a necktie is still required in many professions. New research from University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Germany could change that, however. Scientists there published a study recently about blood flow to the brain being compromised by wearing a tie.

It’s not the first study to raise the issue of pressure on veins when ties are worn. A 2003 study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology investigated neckties and ocular pressure. That study also showed an association with ties and glaucoma. The researchers at University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein wanted to build on this earlier work and find out if brain health was affected by neckties.

Using MRI imaging, they looked at 15 men who were wearing neckties that were a bit tight, to a level of “slight discomfort” which was not enough to be painful, but was representative of how tight some men have their ties. The control group was a similar group of men who were not wearing ties. The scans looked at cerebral blood flow (CBF). When the scans were analyzed the research showed that CBF dropped by roughly 7.5 percent in the men wearing a necktie. Those who were not wearing ties showed normal blood flow to the brain, with no decrease.

In the study, all of the participants were healthy young men, so a drop in blood flow of 7.5% wouldn’t be that worrisome. It could be a factor in older people, or those with conditions that are already impacting CBF such as the elderly, smokers and men who have had strokes, blood clots or high blood pressure. The work is published in the journal Neuroradiology. The researchers write, “Negative cerebrovascular effects can be expected by compressing jugular veins and carotids by a necktie. It was already demonstrated that a necktie increases intraocular pressure. In many professions, a special dress code including a necktie and a collared shirt is mandatory although little is known about the effect of this 'socially desirable strangulation.'"

The team plans to look into researching the issue further with a larger cohort of patients who are older and perhaps have some vascular issues. For now, it’s probably not too dangerous to wear a tie, but it could be a good reason to suggest more casual attire at the office. Check out the video below to learn more about the study.

Sources: Journal Neuroradiology, ScienceAlert

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUN 06, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 06, 2018
Brain Surgery Without A Scalpel
When you think of brain surgery, in addition to being incredibly intricate and delicate, scalpels and clamps and an OR come to mind. As it happens, there i
JUN 27, 2018
Videos
JUN 27, 2018
What Grief Can Do to Your Brain
When we lose someone dear to us, a child or a parent or a partner or really anyone close, the grief can be profound and devastating. The expression is &ldq
JUL 06, 2018
Videos
JUL 06, 2018
The Impact of Junk Food on the Brain
Researchers have found that junk food stimulates neurons in our brains that cause a sense of reward.
JUL 15, 2018
Cardiology
JUL 15, 2018
Brain Disease and High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has been shown to correlate with increased risk for brain lesion formation associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Dementia.
JUL 24, 2018
Neuroscience
JUL 24, 2018
What Does a Heat Wave Do to the Brain?
Many parts of the country are in the middle of the hottest summer in recent memory. Extreme temperatures are seeing people running for air-conditioned loca
AUG 07, 2018
Neuroscience
AUG 07, 2018
Why Smells Can Bring Back Memories
The sense of smell is very powerful regarding memories and events. Smelling a favorite food can bring back vivid memories of when you first had it. The bra
Loading Comments...