How Heart Diseases Is Linked To Dementia And Efforts To Reduce It

By Stephen M

Age-related diseases are becoming very common in our aging population. Illnesses relating to the brain are particular rampant. As such, scientists and researchers are racing to develop effective treatments for brain deterioration associated with age. However, some medical practices are hampering these efforts. For example, the need for sick persons to receive separate specialist treatment in heart and brain-related conditions. A cardiologist is restricted to heart-related diseases, while a neurologist must concentrate on the brain and nervous tissues disorders.

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However, some diseases/disorders affect more than one organ. For example, persons with heart failure can easily develop age-related dementia.

How Heart Failure Leads to Dementia

The high rate of heart patients developing dementia is becoming alarming. Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases have investigated the phenomenon and identified the possible cause. Using mice with heart failure, the team realized that cognitive problems later developed. Further probing traced the condition to higher cellular stress pathways and modified gene activity in the hippocampus neurons. The team improved the condition by administering a drug that enhances neuronal cell health.

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases has championed an interdisciplinary approach to neurocognitive disorders since its discovery. They’ve also called for various therapeutic opportunities in the treatments.

Alzheimer’s disease is a common and feared neurocognitive disorder among older people in the US. It is currently the third cause of death in older people aside from cancer and heart disease. Patients with this condition usually have unusual clumps (amyloid plaques). They also tend to have neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Therefore, most treatment procedures target the plagues, but that has yielded little success.

A research team from the University College Cork (UCC) has adopted a new approach toward treating age-relative cognitive decline using microbe in the gut. The research found that when microbes from young animals are introduced into older ones, it could revitalize some parts of the brain. That aside, they could improve immune function, learning ability, and cognitive function.

Many other types of research are ongoing to find answers to age-related cognitive decline.

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