Monday, February 11, 2013

Cardiac Disease May Lead to Cognitive Impairment

The study included 1,450 subjects ages 70 to 89 years. All were cognitively normal at the start of the study, and a number did have cardiac disease. The subjects were evaluated every 15 months to see whether they developed mild cognitive impairment. Follow-up was on average four years. The researchers looked to see whether there was a link between having cardiac disease at the start of the study and developing mild cognitive impairment. The answer was yes, particularly in women.

"Cardiac disease may contribute to cerebrovascular disease through microemboli to the brain from atrial fibrillation or hypoperfusion of the brain from impaired cardiac function," Petersen and his team conclude in their paper, which appears in JAMA Neurology. "These adverse events may lead to neuronal injury and to an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment."

Risk factors that predict the occurrence of stroke, such as high blood pressure, smoking, or diabetes, also predict the development of mild cognitive impairment, Indiana University researchers and British researchers have found. See Psychiatric News here and here.

Information about mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, and other dementias can be found in  American Psychiatric Publishing's Clinical Manual of Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias.

(Image: S_L/


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