A five minute scan of blood vessels in the neck during mid-life predicts cognitive decline ten years before symptoms appear, according to new research presented today at the AHA Scientific Sessions conference in Chicago.
Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“Vascular dementia affects more than 150,000 people in the UK, and with no way to treat the condition, prevention is key. These results support what we know well – that what’s good for the heart is good for the head. But as the study focuses on decline in memory and thinking skills, it can’t tell us whether people with a higher intensity pulse go on to develop vascular dementia.
“Research will beat dementia, but we need more funding to find a cure. Alzheimer’s Society is funding over £2.5m into research specifically looking at the relationship between the heart and dementia, with the hope it will help us prevent people developing this devastating condition. In the meantime there are things we can all do now to help lower our chances of developing dementia, including healthy eating and keeping our body and mind active.”