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J Atr Fibrillation. 2016 Feb 29;8(5):1353. doi: 10.4022/jafib.1353. eCollection 2016 Feb-Mar.

Atrial Fibrillation and Risk of Dementia/Cognitive Decline.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.


Emerging evidence suggests a link between atrial fibrillation and subsequent development of dementia. While a majority of risk can be attributed to cardioembolic stroke secondary to atrial fibrillation, additional risk is apparent, and may be driven by vascular inflammation and changes in cerebral perfusion. Medical therapies including anticoagulation, statin therapy, and angiotensin-renin-aldosterone axis antagonists may reduce dementia risk. Procedural therapies such as atrial fibrillation catheter ablation and left atrial appendage closure may also prove to be important mediators of acute and long-term risk. In this paper, we review the data supporting a link between atrial fibrillation and dementia syndromes, pathophysiologic mechanisms and the potential roles of medical and procedural therapies at reducing such risk.


Alzheimer’s Disease; Atrial Fibrillation; Catheter Ablation; Cognitive Decline; Dementia

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