Your heart and your brain are intimately connected. In fact, I donât know if youâre aware of this, but there is a whole field of medicine and scientific research devoted to this relationship called neurocardiology. And recently, I came across some rather big news for this field. According to new research, a healthy heart may play a big role in your susceptibility to dementia and Alzheimerâs.
Poor Heart Health Could Lead to Dementia and Alzheimerâs?
This new research Iâm referring to recently appeared in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, and it shows that heart function is closely associated with the development of dementia and Alzheimerâs disease.
The relationship comes down to cardiac index, or how much blood is pumped out of the heart and through the body. Your heart sends blood through the arteries to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs, while removing de-oxygenated blood. Your brain, although only accounting for about two percent of your total body weight, requires about 15% of the blood pumped from your heart. A lower cardiac index, therefore, means there could be less blood getting to the brain, affecting its function.
The decrease in oxygenated blood and nutrients making their way to the brain may slowly cut away support to brain tissues, limiting activity. Furthermore, as you age, your blood vessels can become less healthy (especially if you eat poorly and donât exercise) and less adaptable to blood flow.
Participants in the study who had a low cardiac index were two to three times more likely to develop dementia or Alzheimerâs disease than those who had a higher cardiac index. One very interesting note: the researchers believed that heart disease and dementia were linked, but when they excluded heart disease patients, they were shocked to learn the risk for dementia got even worse!
Lower Your Risk of Dementia, Alzheimerâs by Boosting Your Heart Health
This is a big discovery, because heart health and the risks that come along with it are modifiable. No, you canât change genetics; but you can do things to improve cardiac output and overall heart health!
There are no known cures or proven prevention methods for Alzheimerâs and dementia, but this discovery could revolutionize treatments. The number of Alzheimerâs disease and dementia patients is on the rise, particularly as the population ages. If you can try to adopt a more heart-healthy lifestyle nowâthat means regular exercise and a healthy dietâyou might be able to decrease your chances of mental illness and cognitive decline as you age.
See More :
- Five Herbal Remedies to Save Your Brain
- How to Build a Better Brain and Ward Off Disease
- Prevent Alzheimerâs with Vitamin E and Healthy Fats
Source for Todayâs Article:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, âPoor heart function could be major risk for Alzheimerâs disease,â ScienceDaily web site, March 3, 2015; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150303124016.htm.