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Is the Heart-Brain Connection valid?  Newer studies say yes!! In past decades, studies on the relationship and communication pathways between the brain and the heart often took a one-sided approach. Scientists primarily focused on how the heart responds to instruction from the brain. However, with more research, we have come to learn that the interaction between the mind and heart is dynamic. And it is a two-way dialogue. This means that each of these organs has an ongoing influence on the other’s function.

The Mind and Body Work Together- Particularly The Heart-Brain

Science may have made us believe that awareness stems from the brain alone. However, recent studies have indicated that consciousness is a result of the mind and body working together. A publication by Quantum Life Source showed mounting research in the discipline of neuroradiology. This study indicates that the heart is also a sensory organ. This means that besides receiving and processing information, the heart can learn, remember, and make decisions. And it does so with the help of the brain. Additionally, there are vast experiments that have shown that the heart sends signals which influence the cognitive faculty.

What Is Going On With Your Heart?

heart brain connection

We all know that some of the diseases that affect arteries in the heart also affect other blood vessels around the body. This means that any ailment that clogs arteries in the heart may extend to the brain. Damaged blood vessels can lead to arterial blockages. And these are associated with various diseases of the heart. This includes peripheral vascular disease, heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes. As you see the heart-brain connection is real.

Although Alzheimer’s disease was thought to be caused by tangled tube-shaped proteins, further research has uncovered more underlying causes. It was discovered that Alzheimer’s dementia might be linked to risk factors. The factors that cause stroke, heart disease, and peripheral vascular disease. Substantial evidence indicates risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol, are likely to predispose Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, research shows that individuals with Alzheimer’s disease experience less brain blood flow.

The world is struggling with the epidemic of dementia. And projections are pointing towards a worsening situation. But although not much can be done for those who are already sick, lifestyle changes can help curb the menace. By paying attention to the heart-brain connection you will be able to help both your body and your mind. With studies indicating that the risk factors that affect heart health also affecting the brain, living healthy lifestyles is critical. Understanding the links between the brain and the heart is essential. Due to the knowledge, the phrase “what’s good for the heart is good for the brain” now makes more sense.

How Lifestyle Changes that Affect the Heart Also Affect the Brain

 

Obesity

exercise for heart brain

According to research, obesity has been liked with accelerated shrinkage of the brain. This is especially true for the part that is responsible for memory. A meta-analysis of vast studies discovered that obese or overweight adults have a high chance of having dementia in their old age. While there is no proven theory to explain this, there have been several deductions from experts. One such notion is that due to the additional fat around the stomach, the body’s immune system is swayed to attack healthy cells. And this is something that should never happen.

it is Never too late to start a fitness routine. Talk to your doctor first and start slow. consider getting a fitness instructor that specializes in older adults. Check out your local YMCA for a Silver Sneakers program.

High Cholesterol Levels                       

Having high levels of cholesterol when in your middle age has also been linked with an elevated risk of having Alzheimer’s disease. Here are the findings of the American Academy of Neurology, in their September 13, 2011, issue of Neurology. It documents that middle-aged adults with high cholesterol levels were found to have more brain plaques. People are advised to keep their body cholesterol in check to lower their chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Besides, it’s not like the risk of developing dementia is the only negative effect of having high body cholesterol.

High Blood Pressure Can Affect Both Your Heart and Brain

High blood pressure can affect your heart and brain

Having uncontrolled high blood pressure is another risk factor that is linked to vascular dementia. Recent studies indicate that high blood pressure during midlife can increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Hypertension (high blood pressure) can damage or cause the narrowing of blood vessels. Over time, these vessels, especially those inside the brain can block or burst and fail to deliver oxygen and nutrients.  This will impair a person’s memory, language skills, and thinking, a condition known as vascular dementia. Therefore, it is imperative to keep the blood pressure at the recommended level to avoid developing ailments such as vascular dementia.

Diabetes

Research has also shown that diabetes can also elevate the risk of developing vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This lifestyle change can destroy small blood vessels in the brain, thereby contributing to vascular dementia. Additionally, blood vessels that are damaged due to diabetes can lead to lower blood flow to the brain. This may accelerate the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Final Verdict on the Heart-Brain Connection

heart and brain work together

Furthermore, cardiovascular risk factors may have more to do with the health of the brain than we thought. Therefore, it is vitally essential to adopt healthy lifestyle choices. This is because they will not only help us maintain heart health but may also have tremendous cognitive health benefits.  Even though there is no treatment for memory loss, managing and living healthy lifestyles can help us manage and prevent increased cognitive impairment.

Caring for someone with dementia is not easy. It can weigh heavily on your heart. Allowing someone else to take over the daily care routine will allow you to be the spouse, daughter, son or grandchild again. Come for a tour at Sycamore Creek Ranch! See how we can help!

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