Brain MRI Links Atrial Fibrillation and Cognitive Decline
A Swedish study found that atrial fibrillation (AF) was associated with a history of symptomatic stroke and several brain pathologies, including large infarcts, lacunes, and silent brain infarcts, according to the authors. The study was published September 14, 2021, in Neurology.
“We found that AF was associated with a history of symptomatic stroke and several brain pathologic markers, such as large infarcts, lacunes, and silent brain infarcts. AF was associated with larger WMH [white matter hyperintensity] volumes in individuals with symptomatic stroke, but not in those without. In addition, AF was not associated to lobar or deep/infratentorial CMBs [cerebral microbleeds], except in the frontal lobe, where microbleeds were more common in individuals with AF,” wrote the team, led by Dr. Lina Rydén fo the University of Gothenburg.
The team noted that there was a possibility that MRI markers could be used to enhance future anticoagulant treatment. “Further research is needed to establish whether cerebrovascular MRI markers can be used as a complement to current treatment guidelines to further personalise anticoagulant treatment in AF patients and to further characterize the pathogenetic processes underlying the associations between AF and cerebrovascular diseases, as well as dementia.”
Lina Rydén, Simona Sacuiu, Hanna Wetterberg, Jenna Najar, Xinxin Guo, Silke Kern, Anna Zettergren, Sara Shams, Joana B. Pereira, Lars-Olof Wahlund, Eric Westman, Ingmar Skoog. Atrial Fibrillation, Stroke, and Silent Cerebrovascular Disease: A Population-Based MRI Study. Neurology Sep 2021, 10.1212/WNL.0000000000012675; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000012675 Accessed October 11, 2021, at https://n.neurology.org/content/early/2021/09/14/WNL.0000000000012675.