As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: May 7, 2016
by Rhodi Lee for Tech Times:
Findings of a new study have revealed a link between long term use of the blood thinner warfarin and higher rate of dementia in patients with heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation.
Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute looked at over 10,000 patients treated with warfarin, a drug that helps reduce, treat or prevent the formation of blood clots to cut risks for stroke and heart attack.
The drug is prescribed to patients with atrial fibrillation, the most common form of arrhythmia, a condition marked by problematic heartbeats that are too fast or too slow, sometimes with irregular rhythm.
For their study presented at the Heart Rhythm Society’s 37th Annual Scientific Sessions, lead author T. Jared Bunch and colleagues found that patients with atrial fibrillation who were treated with the anticoagulant had higher rates of dementia compared with their anticoagulated counterparts without atrial fibrillation.
Dementia, a neurological disorder that affects the memory and cognitive abilities, is now among the top causes of ill health and death in developed countries. Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent of this condition.
The researchers found that patients taking warfarin had higher risk for dementia when levels of the drug were consistently too high or too low and this was observed regardless of why the person receives the blood thinner.
“Our study results are the first to show that there are significant cognitive risk factors for patients treated with warfarin over a long period of time regardless of the indication for anticoagulation,” Bunch said.
Bunch said that the study suggests that people with AF may have increased risk for dementia whether or not they use warfarin. Atrial fibrillation puts them at risk for the neurological disorder as it exposes them to both small and large clots that may impact brain function.
Warfarin contributes to the development of dementia if the doses given are not optimal. Patients with erratic warfarin levels are prone to blood clots and strokes. This is why they need to undergo regular blood tests to ensure their warfarin level is in the “therapeutic range” high enough to prevent blood clots and low enough to prevent brain bleeds that can negatively affect brain function over time.
“Anticoagulation clearly has a role as far as long-term brain health and viability,” Bunch said. “We learned as well that AF is an additive disease state, in that it increases risk beyond anticoagulation, so its management also becomes very important to lower dementia risk.”
Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia can bring mixed and complex emotions. For some, it may be a relief that there is finally an explanation for symptoms....
As a cognitive neuroscientist and clinical neuropsychologist, I have been yammering away for years about the detrimental effects of loneliness and social isolation on brain health and overall health. Loneliness and social isolation have long been of interest to...
Scientists have collected plenty of evidence linking exercise to brain health, with some research suggesting fitness may even improve memory. But what happens during exercise to trigger these benefits? New UT Southwestern research that mapped...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.