Abstract Circulation to the brain is greatly affected by hypertension and by its treatment. Neurologic dysfunction is prominent among the complications of increased arterial pressure and is also most susceptible to preventive antihypertensive therapy. The upward resetting of the limits of autoregulation of cerebral blood flow in hypertension is probably due largely to structural thickening of the walls (hyaline arteriosclerosis) of the resistance vessels. Other consequences of hypertensive vascular lesions in the brain include increased formation of atheroma, lacunae and lacunar infarction, cerebral infarction, multi-infarct dementia and Binswanger's disease. There is also an association between hypertension and hemorrhagic strokes, namely, subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhage. Brain lesions are also prominent in malignant hypertension and hypertensive encephalopathy. Antihypertensive treatment, especially if intensive, can result in boundary zone ischemia in the brain if arterial pressure decreases steeply.