Research has shown that middle-aged arteriosclerosis can impact areas of the brain affected by dementia.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, working to prevent cardiovascular disease in middle age can delay or prevent changes in the brain that can lead to dementia in the future.
Atherosclerosis, that is, the accumulation of substances such as fat and cholesterol on the walls of arteries, is the fundamental cause of most cardiovascular diseases. Also, arteriosclerosis is regarded as the leading cause of death worldwide. Dementia is also a leading cause of death and disability around the world, and it is estimated that 50 million people currently suffer from dementia.
Atherosclerosis during arteriosclerosis leads to cognitive impairment symptoms in the advanced state of the disease. In the early stages, arteriosclerosis and cognitive impairment are both asymptomatic for a long period of time, so little is known about how they affect each other.
This study was conducted on 547 participants who were diagnosed with an early stage of atherosclerosis. Using 18F-oxygen fluoride staphylococcus aureus (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET), the research team sought to determine the association between brain metabolism, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular risk factors in asymptomatic middle-aged adults. They found that cardiovascular risk was associated with hypo-brain metabolism, including areas of the brain known to be affected by dementia. Among the causes of arteriosclerosis, hypertension has the strongest association and is a variable risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
The results of this study show that early risk factors for cardiovascular disease need to be controlled to potentially reduce the brain’s vulnerability to late cognitive dysfunction. Even in order not to suffer from dementia in old age, it is important to keep the proper diet and lifestyle habits to protect blood vessel health.
Reporter Bohyun Lee [email protected]
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