Wearing neck ties can reduce brain function

Latest research has shown that wearing a neck tie isn’t such a good idea after all! Researchers have noted that constricting neckwear such as neckties can cause reduced blood flow to the brain and thus it can reduce the proper functioning of the brain.

Image Credit: wernerimages 2018 / Shutterstock
Image Credit: wernerimages 2018 / Shutterstock

The latest study results appear in the journal Neuroradiology.  These type of clothing, write the researchers at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, end up squeezing and constricting the arteries and veins of the neck. This causes reduced blood flow to the brain.

The team of scientists included 30 healthy male participants (average age around 24 years) in their study and scanned their brains. Half of the men were asked to wear open collared comfortable shirts while the other half was asked to wear Windsor-knotted ties which were tightened to cause slight discomfort. The group wearing neckties were scanned three times – once when they were wearing the neck tie loosely around their necks with an open collar, second time when they were wearing the ties tight to a slight discomfort with buttoned collar and third time when the ties and the collars are loosened again. The other group underwent three MRI scans but without a tie and an open collar.

Results of the brain scans or MRIs showed that those who wore the ties had a 7.5 percent less blood flow to their brains. Once the ties were loosened in these individuals, the third MRI showed that a 5.7 percent deficit in blood supply remained. Five of the 15 participants wearing the ties had a greater than 10 percent decrease in cerebral blood flow.

Lack of adequate blood supply to vital areas of the brain can cause damage to the areas of the brain and also reduce the functional capacity of the brain as has been seen from earlier studies. Study leader Robin Lüddecke and colleagues write that it is too early to draw definitive conclusions from this study. Larger studies that also look into brain functions as a result of constrictive wearing of ties are in order he said.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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