Good circulation and blood flow are important for all tissue including the brain.
It is the blood that provides the nutrients to the tissue and removes the waste products.
Based on a recent research, atherosclerosis of the carotid artery, that’s deposits in the artery which goes up to the brain, has been associated with worse cognition among those at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease (Gardener H, et.al., 2017).
Another study found that stenosis of the carotid artery was associated with cognitive impairment. It is independent of other known vascular risk factors for vascular cognitive impairment (Lai BK, et.al., 2017).
In addition, patients with carotid artery plaque instability have shown vascular cognitive decline. Moreover, it also predicted the decline (Dempsey RJ, et.al., 2017). This means dangerous unstable deposits in the artery wall are also bad for cognition.
The following research is interesting because it shows how important it is to have good circulation to the brain. In this study, the researchers removed unstable plaque in a group of patients with vascular cognitive decline (Dempsey RJ, et.al., 2017). A year after the surgery these patients showed significant improvement in 2 tests, and no further decline in cognitive function.
Triglycerides are known to be related to cardiovascular risk. In this study, triglycerides were also found to be inversely correlated with executive function (Parthasarathy V, et.al., 2017). Executive function is the skill which enables us to plan, focus and achieve goals.
As you probably agree, circulation is as important for the brain as it is for the heart.
One important habit that will have a big impact on circulation is the type of food we eat.
Lal, B. K., Dux, M. C., Sikdar, S., Goldstein, C., Khan, A. A., Yokemick, J., & Zhao, L. (2017). Asymptomatic carotid stenosis is associated with cognitive impairment. Journal of Vascular Surgery.
Gardener, H., Caunca, M. R., Dong, C., Cheung, Y. K., Elkind, M. S., Sacco, R. L., … & Wright, C. B. (2017). Ultrasound Markers of Carotid Atherosclerosis and Cognition: The Northern Manhattan Study. Stroke, 48(7), 1855-1861.
Dempsey, R. J., Jackson, D. C., Wilbrand, S. M., Mitchell, C. C., Berman, S. E., Johnson, S. C., … & Hermann, B. P. (2017). The Preservation of Cognition 1 Yr After Carotid Endarterectomy in Patients With Prior Cognitive Decline. Neurosurgery.
Parthasarathy, V., Frazier, D. T., Bettcher, B. M., Jastrzab, L., Chao, L., Reed, B., … & Kramer, J. H. (2017). Triglycerides Are Negatively Correlated With Cognitive Function in Nondemented Aging Adults.
Dempsey, R. J., Varghese, T., Jackson, D. C., Wang, X., Meshram, N. H., Mitchell, C. C., … & Wilbrand, S. M. (2017). Carotid atherosclerotic plaque instability and cognition determined by ultrasound-measured plaque strain in asymptomatic patients with significant stenosis. Journal of Neurosurgery, 1-9.