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People with healthier heart structure and function appear to have better cognitive abilities, including increased capacity to solve logic problems and faster reaction times, according to a study involving University of Oxford and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) researchers.

Anatomical figure highlighting functions of the human heart © NeONBRAND on Unsplash

The study, which included researchers supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, was published in the European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging.

Dr Zahra Raisi-Estabragh, BHF Clinical Research Training Fellow at QMUL said: “Heart disease and dementia are important and growing public health problems, particularly in ageing populations.We already knew that patients with heart disease were more likely to have dementia, and vice versa, but we’ve now shown that these links between heart and brain health are also present in healthy people.

“We demonstrated for the first time, in a very large group of healthy people, that individuals with healthier heart structure and function have better cognitive performance. With more research, these findings may help us to establish strategies for early prevention and reduce the burden of heart and brain disease in the future.”

Read the full story on the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre website.

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