When your heart is sick, there are a few well-known outcomes that can occur, including heart attack, heart failure, circulation problems, and stroke. But did you know that having a sick heart doesn’t just affect your heart? In fact, if you have poor heart health, your memory could take a hit as a result.
Researchers found that older people whose hearts don’t pump enough blood are more likely to suffer from memory problems. This is because blood supply becomes restricted to the temporal lobe, which is where dementia begins.
Additional findings uncovered that participants with low activity not only had poor heart health, but had brains that were 20 years older than the person’s actual age.
To ward off dementia, the researchers recommend exercising at least five times per week for at least 30 minutes a day.
Lead author of the study Dr. Angela Jefferson explained, “We currently know a lot about how to prevent and medically manage many forms of heart disease, but we do not yet know how to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease.”
“This research is especially important because it may help us leverage our knowledge about managing heart health to address and treat risk factors for memory loss in older adults before cognitive symptoms develop,” concluded Dr. Jefferson.
The findings suggest that not only is it important to keep your heart healthy on its own, but that good heart health promotes a healthy brain.