‘Socially Desirable Strangulation’: The Effect of Neckties!

Research Paper Title

Should you stop wearing neckties? – wearing a tight necktie reduces cerebral blood flow.


Negative cerebrovascular effects can be expected by compressing jugular veins and carotids by a necktie. It has already been 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.”


In this study, the effect of wearing a necktie concerning cerebral blood flow and jugular venous flow by magnetic resonance imaging. Thirty volunteers were divided in two groups. One underwent MRI with necktie, the other without.


The examination resulted in a statistically significant decrease of CBF after tightening the necktie (p < 0.001) while the venous flow did not show any significant changes.


It appears that wearing a necktie leads to a reduction in CBF.

Why is Cerebral Blood Flow Important?

“Cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral autoregulation (CA) are critically important to maintain proper brain perfusion and supply the brain with the necessary oxygen and energy substrates. Adequate brain perfusion is required to support normal brain function, to achieve successful aging, and to navigate acute and chronic medical conditions.” (Fantini et al., 2016).

In simple terms, the brain regulates cerebral blood flow very tightly to provide a sufficient and continuous supply of oxygen and glucose.

Other possible causes of low blood flow to the brain include heart failure and a narrowing of the arteries leading to the brain caused by heart disease.


Fantini, S., Sassaroli, A., Tgavalekos, K.T. & Kornbluthb, J. (2016) Cerebral blood flow and autoregulation: current measurement techniques and prospects for noninvasive optical methods. Neurophotonics. 3(3): 031411. doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.3.3.031411.

Lüddecke, R., Lindner, T., Forstenpointner, J., Baron, R., Jansen, O. & Gierthmühlen, J. (2018) Should you stop wearing neckties?—wearing a tight necktie reduces cerebral blood flow. Neuroradiology. 60(8), pp.861-864.


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