Does My Heart Health Affect My Brain?
Dementia includes multiple symptoms affecting memory, thinking, and social abilities. 1 in 6 women and 1 in 10 men over 55 years of age will develop dementia in their lifetime. It may come as a surprise that the heart has a direct effect on brain health. Vascular issues cause 1 in 3 cases of dementia.
The Heart Factor
Normal brain functions need oxygenated blood flow from the heart. Symptoms of heart disease including atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, and arteriosclerosis, the stiffening of the arteries due to age, affect proper blood flow. A stroke is when large portions of brain tissue die because of obstructed blood flow. Long-term brain health is directly affected as 1 in 3 survivors of overt strokes will develop dementia.
Overt strokes are not the only cause of vascular dementia. Tiny blockages in blood vessels deep in the brain cause silent strokes and cause microscopic damage in the brain. These are 10 to 20 times more common than large strokes. High blood pressure, a factor of heart and cardiovascular disease, is the main cause of silent strokes. Every stroke can damage brain tissue and increases the risk of dementia.
Protect your brain by living a heart-healthy life. The same risk factors for heart disease and stroke contribute to dementia. The doctors at Carolina Heart & Leg Center, P.A. are experts in cardiovascular health. They will address your health concerns and keep your heart and mind healthy.
It’s important to keep your heart healthy because it can affect your whole body, including your brain. The doctors at Carolina Heart & Leg Center, P.A. are here to pinpoint changes you can make to decrease your risk. To make an appointment, call 910-491-1760 or fill out our online appointment request form.
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