Alzheimer’s Disease Also Places Your Heart At Risk
Are you concerned about the health of your brain? Spare a thought for your hard working heart; research shows the plaques that form in Alzheimer’s patients’ brains can also damage the heart and raise the risk of heart failure.
The plaques found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients are called amyloid beta. Recently, tests done on heart tissue samples from Alzheimer’s patients have found amyloid beta within their heart. According to senior researcher Dr. Federica del Monte, “We found that some forms of heart failure are basically an Alzheimer’s disease in the heart. They basically have the same biological defect. In one case, it affects the brain. In one case it affects the heart.”
People with Alzheimer’s disease tend to have increased thickness in the wall of the left ventricle of their heart. This means their heart has a reduced ability to expand and take in blood before it is pumped out. This significantly increases the risk of a condition known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. It is where the ventricles eventually become too stiff to effectively draw blood into the heart.
According to Dr. Alfred Bove, cardiologist and professor emeritus with Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia, “If the heart muscle has deposits of something in it, it will get stiffer. If it doesn’t relax appropriately, it can produce heart failure even though the squeezing capacity of the heart muscle is still pretty intact.”
Based on these findings, clinicians are now advised to test the heart health of all Alzheimer’s patients. This is a good idea, but it’s also important to remember that no organ in your body exists in isolation; they are housed in your one body, and impact on each other. There really isn’t a brain healthy diet or a heart healthy diet. The one healthy way of eating and living will help to protect all the organs in your body and reduce your risk of suffering with chronic disease.
There are certainly strategies for reducing the production of amyloid beta in your body, such as avoiding sugar in your diet; keeping your weight and blood sugar level in the healthy range and making sure your diet is high in antioxidants. Curcumin has remarkable abilities for reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and I’ve written about it in my book Alzheimer’s Disease: What you must know to protect your brain.