Heart is one of the most vital organs of the human body and its health is of utmost importance. Studies in the past have linked cardiovascular diseases occurring in middle age, with a negative effect on the brain later in life.
A new study adds weightage to these findings. It reveals that an unhealthy heart in mid-life affects the brain health in the later stages of one’s life. The study states that middle aged people with heart disease or stroke risks are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s in the latter half of their life.
However, surprisingly the association was only discovered when cardiovascular risk factors were present in middle age and not afterward.
The study found that if heart disease and stroke risk was present in middle age, people were more likely to have elevated levels of amyloid. These are responsible for the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in the latter part of life.
Amyloid is a sticky protein compound that clumps together to form plaques in people’s brain. Rebecca Gottesman, the study’s lead researcher, stated that MRI scans of senior individuals showed large deposits of amyloids in their brains.
Amyloid deposit was observed only in individuals who were smokers, obese, diabetic, or had high cholesterol in their system during middle age.