Strong link between an irregular heartbeat and dementia, new study says

The link between an irregular heartbeat and dementia is strong according to a new report published in the American Heart Association‘s main journal Circulation.

It’s hoped the discovery of the link could help with preventing the cognitive decline.

The report has found that people who have atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat, which is known to cause strokes, also have an increased risk of dementia.

The link between an irregular heartbeat and dementia is strong according to a new report published in the American Heart Association’s main journal Circulation. (9News)

However, it not certain why the link exists, with one possibility being that atrial fibrillation can cause mini strokes, which patients may not even be aware of, and reduce blood flow, both of which impair the brain’s function.

More studies need to be done before researchers can determine whether an irregular heartbeat actually causes dementia.

But if it is the case, medical professionals will be able to intervene and prevent cognitive decline before dementia sets in, with the key being catching it early.

Maryanne Bawden is someone who has atrial fibrillation and who has suffered both a stroke and dementia.
Maryanne Bawden is someone who has atrial fibrillation and who has suffered both a stroke and dementia. (9News)

Maryanne Bawden is someone who has atrial fibrillation and who has suffered both a stroke and dementia.

Months after suffering a stroke at the age of 67, she felt like she was losing her mind, having “quite significant brain fog”.

“I remember looking at the kettle thinking I’ll boil the kettle and I actually managed to set fire to the stove at one time,” she said.

“I went from being a very structured person to someone who couldn’t plan my day.”

The Heart Research Institute's Ben Freedman has warned that older people with atrial fibrillation normally do not know they have it.
The Heart Research Institute’s Ben Freedman has warned that older people with atrial fibrillation normally do not know they have it. (9News)

The Heart Research Institute’s Ben Freedman has warned that older people with atrial fibrillation normally do not know they have it.

“AF is often completely silent – they don’t’ have symptoms, they don’t feel palpitations,” he said.

Staring into the void: Man documents mother’s decade-long decline into dementia

Anyone who turns 65 is advised to have their pulse checked every year.

Reference-www.9news.com.au

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