Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rapid, irregular heartbeat may be linked to problems with memory and thinking

Date:
June 5, 2013
Source:
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
Summary:
People who develop a type of irregular heartbeat common in old age called atrial fibrillation may also be more likely to develop problems with memory and thinking, according to new research.

People who develop a type of irregular heartbeat common in old age called atrial fibrillation may also be more likely to develop problems with memory and thinking, according to new research published in the June 5, 2013, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Related Articles


"Problems with memory and thinking are common for people as they get older. Our study shows that on average, problems with memory and thinking may start earlier or get worse more quickly in people who have atrial fibrillation," said study author Evan L. Thacker, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "This means that heart health is an important factor related to brain health."

The study involved people age 65 and older from four communities in the United States who were enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Participants did not have a history of atrial fibrillation or stroke at the start of the study. They were followed for an average of seven years, and received a 100-point memory and thinking test every year. People who had a stroke were not included in this analysis after the stroke. Of the 5,150 participants, 552, or about 11 percent, developed atrial fibrillation during the study.

The study found that people with atrial fibrillation were more likely to experience lower memory and thinking scores at earlier ages than people with no history of atrial fibrillation. For example, from age 80 to age 85 the average score on the 100-point test went down by about 6 points for people without atrial fibrillation, but it went down by about 10 points for people with atrial fibrillation.

For participants ages 75 and older, the average rate of decline was about three to four points faster per five years of aging with atrial fibrillation compared to those without the condition.

"This suggests that on average, people with atrial fibrillation may be more likely to develop cognitive impairment or dementia at earlier ages than people with no history of atrial fibrillation," Thacker said.

Thacker noted that scores below 78 points on the 100-point test are suggestive of dementia. People without atrial fibrillation in the study were predicted on average to score below 78 points at age 87, while people with atrial fibrillation were predicted to score below 78 points at age 85, two years earlier.

"If there is indeed a link between atrial fibrillation and memory and thinking decline, the next steps are to learn why that decline happens and how we can prevent that decline," said Thacker.

The study was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute on Aging.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Rapid, irregular heartbeat may be linked to problems with memory and thinking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605185933.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2013, June 5). Rapid, irregular heartbeat may be linked to problems with memory and thinking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605185933.htm
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Rapid, irregular heartbeat may be linked to problems with memory and thinking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605185933.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins