Alert, Irregular Heartbeat Can Increase Risk of Dementia - OCSEHAT

Alert, Irregular Heartbeat Can Increase Risk of Dementia


Irregular heartbeat indicates arrhythmias. One type is atrial fibrillation (AFib). This condition makes your heart beat irregularly, often faster. If it is not treated early, stroke, heart failure, and other heart complications can occur.

Not only that, the study found that AFib patients had a higher risk of dementia. How do these heart problems increase the risk of dementia? Consider the following review.

Study of irregular heartbeat with dementia

AFib occurs when two chambers over the heart (atria) beat abnormally so that it is not coordinated with two chambers below the heart (ventricles). This causes heart palpitations, shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, and chest pain.

In critical conditions and without treatment, this irregular heartbeat can cause clots and block blood flow (ischemia).

Recent studies have shown that AFib can also increase the risk of dementia.

A study presented at the American Heart Association scientific session, reported that patients with AFib showed signs of brain injury.

As many as 246 patients, it was known that 198 people had AFib while 48 did not. Researchers looked at plasma samples from participants to find out about brain injury.

Of the four biomarkers, three of them are at high risk of depression, neurodegeneration, such as dementia and cognitive decline in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Biomarkers are physical, functional, or biochemical indicators of a disease that is important for identifying dementia. This technique can determine the potential for injury and brain conditions that are not detected by brain scan tests or cognitive testing.

Relationship to irregular heartbeat with dementia

Based on these studies, researchers believe that atrial fibrillation can affect brain function. Because, all cells in the body will be drained of blood carrying oxygen and nutrients.

If the heart rate is irregular, the blood flow to the brain will also experience interference.

Disruption of blood flow to the brain can affect the workings of brain cell membranes. Membranes that should separate blood and cerebrospinal fluid do not work optimally so that neuro-specific molecules can enter the bloodstream.

As a result, brain function will be disrupted, the longer it will get worse, to cause dementia. Conversely, atrial fibrillation patients treated with anticoagulants (blood thinning drugs) to prevent stroke, have a lower risk than patients who do not take this medication.

Other factors that cause the risk of dementia increase

Dementia is not only caused by a single factor. Apart from irregular heartbeat, there are several other factors that can increase the risk of dementia, including:

  • Age. Increasing age causes brain cells to age. As a result, brain function decreases. That is why the risk of dementia will increase along with the aging of a person.
  • Genetics. A number of genes that mutate incorrectly are known to increase the risk of dementia being greater.
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol. Cigarettes and alcohol can reduce brain function by causing inflammation in the body.
  • Have certain health problems. In addition to atrial fibrillation, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and high cholesterol levels can also cause inflammation while disrupting blood circulation in the brain

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