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Patients with Heart Problems May Be at Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Results from a new study published in the journal JAMA Neurology found a link between heart and brain health. It suggests an increased risk of Alzheimer’s in those with atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is a condition marked by hardened arteries. Researchers at Wake Forest University found that it is associated with beta-amyloid plaque buildup in the brain, a characterization of Alzheimer’s. The plaque buildup occurs with age, but appears to worsen for those with hardened arteries.

In the study, researchers analyzed 81 PET scans. They looked at the amount of plaque development in elderly adults who did not have dementia. The researchers also measured the hardening of arteries through pulse wave velocity. This measures the rate at which blood moves through the arteries.

Plaque buildup surged from 48 percent of patients to 75 percent over two years. The researchers found a link between plaque development and atherosclerosis.

Take Care of Your Cardiovascular Health

Further research is necessary to determine the link between heart health and brain health; not only the impact of atherosclerosis, but other cardiovascular conditions like high cholesterol and hypertension. But if these results prove true, it suggests promoting heart health could also delay or prevent Alzheimer’s.

The following are examples of ways to improve heart health:

  • exercise (talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program);
  • reduce stress;
  • quit smoking;
  • eat a healthy, balanced diet; and
  • maintain a healthy weight.

In older adults, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Yet it can also impact younger adults. This disorder may result in memory or thinking impairments. It can also affect the individual’s ability to work or perform daily tasks.

Those experiencing cardiovascular disorders or who are suffering Alzheimer’s or other dementias may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration if unable to work. For help applying for these benefits or appeaing a denied claim, get legal help. Contact Disability Help Group today at 1-(800)-800-3332.