Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Drugs for heartbeat problem may cut dementia risk (UK)

Treating stroke survivors for a heartbeat problem called atrial fibrillation might prevent many patients from going on to develop dementia, UK experts believe. Research into nearly 50,000 patients' records found that AF after a stroke more than doubles the risk of dementia. Doctors say we should now investigate whether more vigorous treatment with drugs to control AF might delay or even prevent dementia. The work appears in Neurology journal. Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance and affects up to 500,000 people in the UK. Although not usually life-threatening in itself, it does increase the risk of stroke. Blood-thinning drugs and medication to slow the irregular heartbeat are often prescribed to reduce stroke risk

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