Heart attack may hasten cognitive decline

Photo of a doctor reviewing a series of brain MRI scans on a computer monitor

Just as our bodies lose agility as we age, so does our brain. Being more forgetful and taking longer to remember names and events is a normal part of aging. However, in some cases, these cognitive changes occur more quickly than usual. Now, new research has found that such accelerated cognitive decline may be more likely after a heart attack (see Cognitive changes after a heart attack).

Cognitive ability (the ability to reason and remember) can be assessed in a number of ways. New research considers holistic (or holistic) cognition, including areas such as learning, processing speed, and executive functioning (the ability to perform mental tasks such as preplanning and remembering instructions). Masu. Immediately after a heart attack, survivors showed no obvious cognitive changes. However, they showed a rapid and sustained decline in overall cognition over the ensuing years compared to those who had not had a heart attack. The study authors say this decline is equivalent to about 6 to 13 years of normal cognitive aging.

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