A five-minute neck diagnosis may predict the risk of developing dementia ten years before the onset of symptoms. This sounds unbelievable, but a test that analyzes the blood vessels in the neck can eventually become standard practice if the relationship between cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline is verified by the scientific community. Puls.bg.
This association is currently being studied by researchers at London University College who presented their results at this year's American Heart Association conference. The study, which started in 2002 and during which 3191 male and female blood vessels were examined using ultrasonographs, met with cautious optimism on the part of medical organizations. Here's why!
The heartbeat sends physical impulses through all parts of the body, including the brain. The blood vessels in the neck area, which are still healthy, help to reduce these physical impulses. But thanks to the adherence of vessels, they begin to lose their elasticity and protective properties, allowing stronger impulses to have a negative impact on the more delicate blood vessels in the brain. As a result, the person is threatened by a decline in cognitive functions.
After routinely scanning patients for 15 years, the team found that those with the strongest impulses, representing about 25% of subjects, were 50% more susceptible to cognitive deficits later in life. Researchers are planning to continue using magnetic resonance tomography to learn more about how blood flow affects the development of dementia. At the same time, if wider experiments confirm the results, the method will receive sufficient support, which makes it an indispensable part of the practice of forecasting dementia.
Dementia is the final result of decades of memory impairment, linguistic abilities and thought processes, so that the moment when a person is diagnosed is considered too late. Therefore, the scientific community is actively trying to identify this state as soon as possible.