Heart Problems Can Trigger Decline in Brain Function: Study
The study reinforces the link between heart and cognition. 
The study reinforces the link between heart and cognition. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Heart Problems Can Trigger Decline in Brain Function: Study

Patients of coronary heart diseases (CHD) are likely to experience cognitive decline in the future, a recent study has found.

Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the study focused on the temporal pattern of cognitive decline before and after CHD is diagnosed.

In a news release from the American College of Cardiology, Wuxiang Xie, research fellow at the Imperial College School of Public Health in London, who led the research, said, “Even small differences in cognitive function can result in an increased risk of dementia in the long run.”

Because there is no current cure for dementia, early detection and intervention are essential to delay the progression to dementia. Heart attack and angina patients need careful monitoring in the years following a diagnosis.

The researchers studied 7888 participants with relatively healthy hearts and brains (at the beginning of the study) over 49 years of age and tracked their health for fifteen years.

Over these years, nearly 6 percent of the participants suffered a heart attack or chest pain and also displayed a faster decline in their mental function, along with the heart trouble.

For instance, a WebMD report explained that patients who suffered from angina/chest pain had a significant decline in tests of ‘temporal orientation’ — the ability to state the current date, day or time. Similarly, patients who had a heart attack showed declines in their verbal memory and fluency.

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