Heart disease can have a long-term impact on the brain and is linked to cognitive decline, a new study noted.
Patients diagnosed with coronary heart disease are at higher risk for cognitive decline later on in their life, with their verbal memory and orientation of time gradually diminishing.
"This study adds to the increasing body of literature that showcases how the heart and brain work together. We are now seeing more issues related to cognitive function from heart disease as more people are living longer, and also undergoing more heart procedures, and placed on medications," director of research for the Rush Heart Center for Women and a cognitive neurologist at its Cardiology Cognitive Clinic, Dr. Neelum T. Aggarwal, said.
The authors of the study pointed out that heart attack patients "had a significantly faster memory decline than those with an incident angina", explaining that cardiovascular disease could impact small blood vessels and disrupt the flow of oxygen to parts of the brain.
"Even miniscule differences in cognitive function can result in a substantially increased risk of dementia over several years,” the study's authors added.
"What is good for your heart is good for your head," Aggarwal pointed out.