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Listen to Your Heart for a Healthier Brain

Heart and brain interactionHeart health and brain health go hand in hand. Did you know that there are some forms of heart disease associated with dementia and other kinds of cognitive impairment? According to vascular neurologist Dr. Philip Gorelick, “Over time, the arteries carrying blood to the brain may narrow or become damaged, which can lead to dementia. The good news is that managing risk factors – and managing them early on – can keep those arteries strong and make a world of difference for our long-term brain health.”

There are some risk factors that are out of our hands, such as family history, but our cognitive vitality is one area where we can make a significant impact on our health. By following the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7” guidelines, you can do your part to maintain a healthy brain and a healthy heart throughout your life and decrease your risk of stroke or heart attack – and vascular dementia. It’s a lot to tackle at once, so go at your own pace, and be sure to consult your physician for support. Also, check to see if there any you can already cross off the list for a great head start to a healthier heart and brain!

American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7”

  1. Manage blood pressure
  2. Control cholesterol
  3. Reduce blood sugar
  4. Get physically active
  5. Eat a healthy diet
  6. Lose extra weight
  7. Quit smoking