Heart Failure and memory loss link
Heart failure has been linked to detrimental changes in the brain, says new research published recently in the European Heart Journal. As heart failure has been linked to depression and cognitive impairment, Professor Osvaldo Almeida of the University of Western Australia, and colleagues investigated whether this is specifically due to the heart failure itself, or sanother factor. They analysed data on 35 heart failure patients, 56 ischemic heart disease patients without heart failure, and 64 healthy people with neither condition. All were aged 45 years or above and had no obvious cognitive impairment. MRI scans of the participants’ brains were assessed. This is the first study of cognitive changes in heart failure to include patients with ischemic heart disease.
Participants with heart failure had a lower volume of grey matter in many areas of the brain than the other two groups. These patients also had lower scores on short- and long-term memory, had longer reaction speeds, and took longer to complete a reasoning task. Professor Almeida explains, “What we found in this study is that both ischemic heart disease and heart failure are associated with a loss of cells in certain brain regions that are important for the modulation of emotions and mental activity. Such a loss is more pronounced in people with heart failure.
Health professionals and patients need to be aware that problems caused by heart disease are not limited to the heart.” In their paper, the researchers conclude, “Adults with heart failure have worse immediate and long-term memory and psychomotor speed than controls without ischemic heart disease.” This could make it more difficult for patients to comply with complicated treatment regimes, they warn, stating, “Our findings are consistent with the possibility that patients with heart failure may have trouble following complex management strategies, and, therefore, treatment messages should be simple and clear.”
They add that further studies will have to be done to uncover the process by which heart failure leads to loss of brain cells, to see whether the problems become worse over time, and to discover whether patients could benefit from cognitive rehabilitation.
Responding to the study, Dr. Christiane Angermann and colleagues at the University of Wurzburg, Germany, say that links between cardiovascular disease and dementia have been observed for decades. In fact, the label “cardiogenic dementia” was first used in 1977. Smaller studies on humans have investigated the issue, with inconsistent results. A few animal studies have also been carried out, and these studies showed changes to the brain after a heart attack. Another potential cognitive problem among heart failure patients is an inability to decide what to do if their condition changes. For example, a patient who has a cognitive problem and experiences sudden weight gain may not think to notify their physician. Their condition could worsen over time, resulting in an avoidable trip to the emergency room.
Richard S. Isaacson, MD, a neurologist at the University of Miami School of Medicine, recommends that patients bring a family member or carer to doctor appointments to help understand the treatment regime and the importance of taking medication consistently. “People with heart failure are going to have trouble understanding because their thinking skills are not as strong as they used to be,” Isaacson says. “They often have multiple medical problems and difficulty understanding what they can do to help themselves.” He supports the use of handouts to explain heart failure and its treatments, to help remind patients of what they need to do and why.
How important is excercise to you as a Heart Failure patient?
Before we talk to you about this really important article it is important that you get the go ahead from a clinician before you start any exercise and especially marathon running!!
People with heart failure who are also depressed may benefit from regular, moderate exercise, a new study suggests. Researchers found patients who exercised an hour and a half to two hours per week had slightly lower depression scores, which in turn were tied to a reduced risk of re-hospitalisations and deaths related to heart problems.
Still, the effects of exercise were “modest,” researchers said. “We know that in people who have existing heart disease, including heart failure, that if they have depression on top of it, it tends to make matters worse,” said Kenneth Freedland, a psychiatrist from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who wasn’t involved in the new study.
“Exercise seems to be helpful, but by itself, it’s probably not a sufficient treatment for clinical depression in somebody with heart failure,” Still, Freeland added, “anything that can make a dent in (depression) is a good thing.”
The new findings are based on a secondary analysis of a study looking at the effects of exercise on long-term health risks in people with heart failure, which occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
Close to six million people in the U.S. and 1 million people in the UK have heart failure. Moderate exercise is generally considered safe in people with heart failure, as long as they have been first cleared by their doctor.
In 2003 through 2007, researchers randomly assigned 2,300 people with heart failure to a supervised and at-home exercise program or to their usual treatment. They asked participants about depression symptoms at the start of the study and tracked both those symptoms and hospitalizations and deaths over time.
Participants in the exercise group had three 30-minute workout sessions per week for three months, then were given a treadmill or stationary bike to continue exercising at home for another nine months.
About 28% of patients were clinically depressed at the start of the study, based on a questionnaire covering 21 different symptoms. Depression scores in general — and especially in people with a depression diagnosis — tended to drop with exercise. But the disparity between exercisers and non-exercisers was small, equal to participants scoring similarly on 20 out of 21 symptoms and exercisers getting a “mild” score on one symptom where the usual care group got a “moderate” or “severe” score.
“Most of the patients were not depressed,” said lead researcher James Blumenthal, a clinical psychologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham. “To go from being not depressed to a little bit more not depressed may not be that clinically meaningful.”
June 12th 2012 was the day we staged our very succesfull heart failure charity patient conference. We had guest speakers from -
Talking about cardiomyopathy – Cardiomyopathy Association – CEO Robert Hall
Devices and what do they do – Medtronic – Emma Nardo
What is Tai Chi – Jason Hacking
Heart failure update – East Lancashire Hospital Trust – Angela Graves
Pumping Marvellous update – Nick Hartshorne-Evans
We received some positive feedback and some developmental feedback from the conference so for the next conference which will be Winter 2012 it has already been decided that technical content will be limited to a minimum.
Here are some pictures of the event -
Link between Orthostatic Hypotension and Heart Failure
A sudden drop in blood pressure caused by moving from lying down to standing has been linked to a higher risk of heart failure, a condition where the organ does not pump with sufficient force. There are around 750,000 sufferers of heart failure in Britain and symptoms can include swollen ankles, breathlessness and fatigue. Reachers at the University of North Carolina found a link between people who feel light headed when they stand up, known orthostatic hypotension and heart failure, especially those aged between 45 and 55 years compared with older people. The results were published in the journal Hypertension. Blood pressure was taken from 12,363 healthy adults when lying down and shortly after standing up and patients were followed up for an average of 17 years.
In that time around 11% of people who developed heart failure, had orthostatic hypotension compared with 4% who did not have the problem.
It was calculated that people with orthostatic hypotension were 54% more likely to develop heart failure than those without. Once other factors that can cause heart failure, including high blood pressure, were accounted for, the increased risk was around one third.
Dr Christine DeLong Jones, lead author said: “Orthostatic hypotension appears to be related to the development of heart failure along with other conditions known to cause heart failure.
“Hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease are already known to contribute to a person’s risk of developing heart failure. Orthostatic blood pressure measurement may supplement what is already known about the risk for heart failure and requires no additional equipment, just a standard blood pressure cuff.”
Head of Heart Stars hits the front pages
Heart Stars is the young persons part of Heart Stars run by Mirren. Its focus surrounds the following goals
Crescendo to Heart Month
Pumping Marvellous are very focused around children and young people getting the right education on healthy lifestyles and delivering in a way they enjoy and learn but also having big fun doing it. That’s why we have just started a new “string to our bow” for the charity called Heart Stars, this is still in development but will be ready to launch very soon headed up by a very special young lady Mirren Terry. Coming to your screens as promised!
In our commitment to ensuring children and young people start their lives with the best possible education we have teamed up with on Wednesday 29th February 2012 the East Lancashire Hospital Trusts Heart Failure Nursing Team under the direction of Angela Graves and the Blackburn with Darwen Health Teams under the direction of Mark Campbell to have a day of fun filled education with the children of the Infants and Juniors of The Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Blackburn. We will be educating the children about the Heart and its function, exercise and it’s impact on the heart and the importance of healthy food.
Not only will the children be actively involved all day they will also have some homework pre the event which will include the infants trying to name 10 correct fruit and vegeatable which they will learn before their fun filled day and the juniors answering a questionnaire on how much they know about the heart and the affects of nutrition and exercise. Whilst answering the questions both the infants and juniors will gather sponsorships which will be based on how many they can get correct by the 29th February 2012.
Collections on the day will go to the “Heart of Blackburn” 3D scanner appeal. Monies collected through the sponsorship forms will go to your local Heart Failure Chairty Pumping Marvellous.
One of our corporate sponsors Soulmatefood will also be offering a “pulled out the hat” prize for one of the parents for a full juice detox worth £200 – nothing like influencing upwards.
The event will be covered by the BBC and the Lancashire Evening Telegraph so we hope people will read and listen to the childrens achievements. We are quite happy to do this sort of event at your school so why don’t you contact us to discuss your requirements. Currently only available in the Lancashire area.
First Aid is such an important part of everyday life and you never know when you will need it. Pumping Marvellous has teamed up with the British Red Cross to offer Heart Failure patients and their carers free to attend dedicated First Aid workshop days in Burnley. If you would like to book then please contact Pumping Marvellous via firstname.lastname@example.org
Would you know how to help in an emergency? The British Red Cross website has videos so you can learn what to do in numerous first aid situations.
You will find a series of videos being posted on the site over the next couple of days which demonstrate simple first aid in difference situations. We hope you find this useful and we will being telling people of the days shortly so keep a look out. Remember it is free for Heart Failure patients and carers through Pumping Marvellous.
A person’s heart rate, also known as their pulse, refers to how many times their heart beats per minute. Our heart rates vary tremendously, depending on the demands we make on our bodies – a person who is sleeping will have a much lower heart rate compared to when he/she is doing exercise.
There is a technical difference between heart rate and pulse, although they both should come up with the same number:
- Heart rate- how many times the heart beats in a unit of time, nearly always per minute. The number of contractions of the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles).
- Pulse (pulse rate) – as the blood gushes through the artery from a heart beat, it creates a bulge in the artery. The rate at which the artery bulges can be measured by touching it with your fingers, as on the wrist or neck.
So what is your resting Heart Rate
For a human aged 18 or more years, a normal resting heart rate can be anything between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Usually the healthier or fitter you are, the lower your rate. A competitive athlete may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute.
Champion cyclist, Lance Armstrong has had a resting heart rate of about 32 beats per minute (bpm). Fellow cyclist Miguel Indurain once had a resting heart rate of 29 bpm.
According to the NHS the following are ideal normal pulse rates at rest, in bpm (beats per minute):
- Newborn baby – 120 to 160
- Baby aged from 1 to 12 months – 80 to 140
- Baby/toddler aged from 1 to 2 years – 80 to 130
- Toddler/young child aged 2 to 6 years – 75 to 120
- Child aged 7 to 12 years – 75 to 110
- Adult aged 18+ years – 60 to 100
- Adult athlete – 40 to 60
Measuring your own Heart Rate
Although their are numerous areas you can measure your Heart Rate these are the two most common -
- The wrist (the radial artery) – place the palm of your hand facing upward. Place two fingers on the thumb side of your wrist gently, you will sense your pulse beating there. Either count them for up to one minute, or thirty seconds and then multiply by two. Counting for 15 seconds and then multiplying by four is less accurate. It is also possible to test the pulse by touching the other side of the wrist, where the ulnar artery is.
- The neck (the carotid artery) – place the index and third fingers on the neck, next to your windpipe. When you feel your pulse, either count for the whole sixty seconds, or do it in a 30 or 15 second spell and multiply by two or four.
Tips on boosting your immune system
Let’s face it — some people have better immunity than others or do they and if they do how do they achieve it?
Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of catching every virus, you were one of those who avoided most of them? Interestingly, there are factors that may cause some people to have better immunity than others. Here are some tips for a more “immune healthy lifestyle”
- Get your sleep – 8 hours is optimal
- Keep your hands clean – use bactericide soap - a lot of cold and flu virus are transmitted by door handles or even lift buttons to name a few
- Eat healthy foods including lots of fruit, vegeatables, wholgrains and lean protein – also it maybe a good idea to top up with a multi vitamin
- Regular exercise, doesn’t need to be a lot but just regular every week
- Manage your stress and deal with situations if you can, if not your Carer will help you
- Be a sociable person and have a positive outlook. People who tend to be gregarious tend to be able to keep their colds at bay
Remember you must always consult your Doctor or Heart Failure Nurse if you are going to take on board new nutritional and exercise based regimes.
Although aerobic exercise can include bicycling, swimming, jogging, and aerobic classes, walking may be one of the best activities. That’s because you can do it anywhere, and you need little equipment outside of a good pair of shoes.
Numerous studies have found that walking offers tremendous cardiac benefits. It helps people improve their fitness levels and endurance capacity, and it burns calories to aid in weight loss. Walking can lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels and your body’s ability to handle glucose or sugar, and reduce your risk of diabetes.
Aim to do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least five days a week, or 20 minutes of vigorous activity three times a week. Moderate-intensity exercise is seen as the equivalent of a brisk walk, as if you have someplace to go, while vigorous exercise is even faster walking. If you’re starting an exercise program, just avoid doing vigorous activity until you’ve been exercising for a few months. The same goes for people with existing heart problems: Unless you have your doctor’s or nurses okay, stick with moderate-intensity regimes.
If 30 minutes sounds too daunting at first, you can get the same benefits by doing three 10-minute bouts each day. For instance, maybe you walk your dog for 10 minutes in the morning, take a 10-minute stroll at lunch, and walk for another 10 minutes after dinner.
Strength training will not replace aerobic exercise but compliments and boosts muscular strength and endurance; helps your body handle blood sugars; reduces blood pressure; and increases lean body mass, which can help prevent weight gain. Because you’re losing lean body mass, which burns more calories than fat, you gain weight. However, when you do strength training, you maintain lean body mass and prevent weight gain.
Do strength training for your entire body twice a week, completing one set of eight to 12 repetitions for each muscle group. As you progress, increase to two or three sets. If you’re not sure where to start, work with a certified personal trainer for one or two sessions, or buy an instructional DVD or book. If the Gym is a local council run gym they are certified to help you make decisions, even better apply to join a Healthy Lifetsyle Team monitored event.
Pair your strength training and aerobic activities with a heart-friendly diet and you’ll be well on your way to building a stronger, healthier heart.
Always consult your Doctor or Heart Failure Nurse if you are doing strength training and if you have been sedentary for awhile, check with your Doctor or Heart Failure Nurse before starting any exercise regime.