Heart Diseases May Affect Brain Function- Research Suggests

Heart Diseases May Affect Brain Function- Research Suggests

The developments in medical science are the main reason that the treatments available today are effective and advance. In comparison with the past times, research has successfully reached a point where many of the past diseases have now been overcome.

For instance, tuberculosis was once listed among the deadliest diseases in the world and was responsible for hundreds and thousands of deaths in the twentieth century. Now, it is no longer life-threatening and treatments are available almost everywhere.

However, there new health-related challenges are also emerging at the same time. According to the statistics, heart-related conditions are becoming more and more common even in the young adult population.

This is also why there is now an increase in research on heart diseases and their effects on the human body. For example, previous research has shown that a person suffering from a heart-related condition may also start having problems in cognition.

Generally, a decline in cognitive abilities is considered to be a normal and expected part of aging but there are studies that have highlighted issues in cognitive abilities as a consequence of problems in circulation. They have also looked at cognition and its link with incidents like angina and heart attack.

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology looks at the two conditions in a different way by looking at cognitive abilities before and after the patient develops coronary heart disease or has a related incident.

Read the full study here. 

According to authors of the study, this is particularly important now just to know the outcomes of heart disease but also to find a potential treatment for dementia and cognitive decline as it is not available at the moment.

How Was the Study Conducted?

A person develops coronary heart disease when the arteries supplying blood to the heart become obstructed and stop the blood flow. This can happen due to a number of reasons including atherosclerosis or the deposited fats.

This further leads to the heart receiving less oxygen than required which in turn causes chest pain, discomfort, and even heart attack. Statistically, coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.

Therefore, the study conducted to study its after-effects on cognition is also one of the largest. In order to observe the decline in cognition before and after developing coronary heart disease, the researchers took data from seven thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight patients who were aged fifty and over.

The data originally came from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging.

At the start of the ELSA study, none of the participants had a diagnosis of coronary heart disease. The studied took data about health twice a year from 2002 t0 2017. In this period, the participants also underwent different tests on cognition.

What Were the Results?

In a time period of the study, it was observed that around 5.6 percent of the participants developed coronary heart disease or had a related incident such as angina. Their cognitive tests showed that they also had more quick decline than the people who did not have coronary heart disease.

More specifically, people who had angina were seen to have a decline in temporal orientation while those with a heart attack had a decline in semantic skills and verbal memory.

The important point to note here was that there were no such changes in the time prior to coronary heart disease in the participants. The researchers suggest that cognition decline afterwards can be due to the decrease in the oxygen supply of the brain. This confirms that a decrease in cognitive abilities is yet another effect of coronary heart disease.

Hilary Jensen

Hilary is a Food Science and Nutrition graduate with specialization in diet planning and weight loss. She enjoys reading and writing on Food, Nutrition, Diet, Weight Loss, and General Health.

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