Navigation Links
Irregular Heart Beat Plus Stroke May Increase Dementia Risk
Date:3/7/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- People who suffer a stroke and also have an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation may be at greater risk of developing dementia than stroke survivors without the heart condition, British researchers report.

The likelihood of atrial fibrillation increases with age, and it is a significant risk factor for stroke. More than 2 million Americans have the condition, according to the study, published in the March 8 issue of Neurology.

"We know that atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia in older patients, but it has been unclear whether the arrhythmia is a major risk factor for dementia," said researcher Dr. Yoon K. Loke, a senior lecturer in clinical pharmacology at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K.

"In the stroke population, atrial fibrillation appears to have a major role in contributing to dementia, and clinicians should concentrate their efforts on tackling this, in addition to any associated cardiovascular risk factors," he added.

For the study, Loke and colleagues gathered data on 46,637 people, average age 72, who took part in 15 separate studies.

This is a method known as a meta-analysis in which researchers pull out certain data from studies not necessarily designed to evaluate the specific outcomes these researchers are interested in. The goal is to identify any significant trends.

In this case, the pooled data showed that people who survive a stroke and who also have atrial fibrillation are 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, compared with stroke survivors without this irregular heart beat.

In all, about 25 percent of patients with stroke and atrial fibrillation developed dementia during follow-up, the researchers noted.

Strategies are needed to reduce this excess dementia risk in stroke patients, Loke said. "This may include steps such as better control of the arrhythmia and more effective prevention of clots."

The researchers were unable to determine whether people with atrial fibrillation but no stroke history are at a greater risk for dementia. "In wider populations that involve patients who do not have stroke, atrial fibrillation does not seem to be a major contributor to the risk of dementia," Loke said.

Many factors other than atrial fibrillation probably contribute to dementia, he said. "A targeted or focused approach on management of atrial fibrillation may not help to reduce the burden of dementia," he added.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, a professor of medicine and director of the Duke Stroke Center at Duke University Medical Center, said that "there was considerable variability among the included studies."

The relationship between atrial fibrillation and dementia in those with stroke is not unexpected, Goldstein said. Strokes that result from heart problems tend to be larger and more frequently involve the left middle cerebral artery, leading to aphasia (damage to the brain area that controls language), which can complicate cognitive testing, he explained.

"The meta-analysis did not control for these factors, although two of the studies excluded those with aphasia," Goldstein said.

Dr. Richard B. Libman, chief of the division of vascular neurology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., added that this study is not conclusive, but appears to suggest a connection.

"If it turns out that atrial fibrillation is associated with dementia only because atrial fibrillation is a cause of stroke, then we do whatever we can to prevent strokes in people who have atrial fibrillation," he said.

But it's possible that atrial fibrillation by itself could play a role in dementia. "That's a little trickier," Libman noted. The goal of treatment then would be to control the arrhythmia through drugs or medical procedures, he said.

Libman said a meta-analysis has limitations, because the various studies use different methods. "You can't tease out relationships always by combining data," he said. "All you can do is get a general idea that perhaps will guide further research."

More information

For more information on stroke, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Yoon K. Loke, M.D., senior lecturer, clinical pharmacology, University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.; Larry B. Goldstein, M.D., professor of medicine, director, Duke Stroke Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.; Richard B. Libman, M.D., chief, division of vascular neurology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; March 8, 2011, Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Guidelines OK Pradaxa Blood Thinner as Option for Irregular Heartbeat
2. New Drug May Help Patients With Irregular Heartbeat Avoid Stroke
3. Insufficient, Irregular Sleep Tied to Kids Obesity
4. Guidelines Eased for Patients With Irregular Heartbeats
5. Omega-3 Supplements Wont Fight Irregular Heartbeat
6. Pradaxa Approved to Fight Dangerous Irregular Heartbeat, Stroke
7. Surgery May Be Best for Irregular Heartbeat in Young
8. Laser Used to Blast Away Cells Causing Irregular Heartbeat
9. Treating Common Irregular Heartbeat Might Also Ward Off Alzheimers
10. Freezing, Medicating Away a Dangerous Irregular Heart Rhythm
11. Air Travel Could Raise Risk for Heartbeat Irregularities
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Irregular Heart Beat Plus Stroke May Increase Dementia Risk
(Date:6/27/2016)... Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 ... ... is using cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for ... Many are aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet ... product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural ... two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible ... often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human ... but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June ... a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments ... of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, ... out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control ... use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Tenn. , June 24, 2016  Arkis ... providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid ... in funding.  The Series-A funding is led by ... Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new ... neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, ... Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market ... at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: