Abnormal Heart Rhythm Linked to Alzheimer's Disease
Atrial fibrillation also caused dementia to be more dangerous. Death rates were higher in dementia patients with atrial fibrillation -- especially patients under the age of 70.
"This leaves us with the finding that atrial fibrillation, independent of everything else, is a risk factor [for dementia]," said Dr. Gary Kennedy, director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "This is adding one more brick in the road toward understanding that cardiovascular disease is a major risk factor for dementia."
"Alzheimer's disease, in particular, is one where we don't quite understand the risk factors and what causes it, so studies [like this] that try to investigate the causative effect will help us understand that and ultimately design therapies and approaches to prevent or minimize disease," added Dr. Jared Bunch, lead author of a study appearing in the April edition of the HeartRhythm Journal and a cardiologist/ electro physiologist with Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah.
However, this particular study was not designed to explore cause and effect. Instead, researchers have established a correlation between heart problems and Alzheimer's disease and dementia.