In the journals: Irregular heart rhythm linked to mental decline

Published: May, 2013

People with a common type of irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (AF) are also more likely to decline mentally or develop dementia, according to a study in Annals of Internal Medicine.

The link between AF and strokes is well established. Irregular beating of the heart's upper chambers (atria) may form blood clots. A clot could then travel to the brain, interrupt blood flow, and cause a stroke. Researchers assumed this would explain the link between AF and cognitive decline, but it hasn't been proved.

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