Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained cardiac rhythm disturbance seen in clinical practice. A number of trials have shown that the condition, which is most prevalent among the elderly, increases the chance of cerebrovascular accidents and of blood clots forming in the heart, increasing total mortality. These aspects are well-established, as is the use of anticoagulants to prevent thromboembolism in individuals with relevant risk scores. Yet although previous research has looked at the association between atrial fibrillation and cognitive decline, no studies to date have explored the effects of oral anticoagulants on the cognitive and functional aspects of patients. A Brazilian trial that brings to light the significant effects of anticoagulants on brain health was recently presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021.
Links: Medscape (11/2021) (article is available open access on Medscape with free registration)