AF and Increased Dementia Risk: Interesting... - AF Association

AF Association

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AF and Increased Dementia Risk


Interesting research. It looks like anticoagulants could be protective against dementia so another good reason to stay on them.

My mother has dementia (no AF though) and it’s something I definitely don’t want. We’re not aware of anyone else in her family that has had it. She has had breathing problems all her life (due to a deformity in her nose) that has impacted her sleep which we (and doctors) believe has lead to her current state. I’ll keep learning and dancing and taking anticoagulants and hopefully will avoid the dreaded dementia.

14 Replies

Yes, thanks for posting...interesting!

Hi Kaz I work with dementia and understand how no one would wish it on anyone It's such a heartbreaking condition for families to see their loved one change to someone so unlike themselves It's like another person inside their bodies Least I can go home and try to turn my work mode off unlike the carers who are there 24/7 Any break through to this terrible illness is a godsend and hopefully a cure can be found I have been knitting snuggle bears for work from the Alzheimer's web site for our residents with fiddly hands

wilsond in reply to Vonnieruth

Me too! I knit muffs with bits on and inside to fiddle with for restless hands and anxiety! Looking at lap blankets next. I'll try and get a photo on here

john6 in reply to wilsond

My wife has literally knitted/crochet 100s & I mean 100s of lap blankets. She belonged to a forum who apparently used to distribute them! Unfortunately there was very little feed back as to where they were going. After making her own enquiries, she got to hear of a Chaplain who deals with the Salvation Army & hospitals. Now we know that they go to deserving people.

P.S. I should have mentioned that she also has a friend who crochets (not quite sure of the item), that is to do with "fiddle", as you say, for the hands. They have both done an enormous amount.

That's good to hear Kaz. Along with having a stroke, losing your mind must be one of the top fears for all people as they grow older.

I know the Matron/Manager of a very large nursing home and when I next speak I'll be asking for her thoughts on this. May just tip her off with a quick email so she can be giving it some thought. Jean

Kaz my Matron/Manager friend has just text me back to say, she hasn't noticed a difference, but will be more observant now.


I guess the Apixaban will work in reducing the risk if started before the dementia begins Its a preventative not a cure Therefore the study shows people with out Apixaban are more likely no get dementia


This may not be new as I have known about the increased dementia risk for people with AF for a long time. What tends to screw a lot of this is that they seldom have a good comparison between people with undiagnosed or untreated AF and those of us who have control over it and are protected by anticoagulants. The mechanics seem to be micro embolii which find there way to small areas of the brain and switch those off. A stroke (or even a TIA) requires a much larger clot to block off a significant part and thus becomes more noticeable but these tiny ones are pretty well undetectable. I love my warfarin!

I didn't realise we were so at risk!but this is reassuring news. Thanks Kaz xx

My lovely grandmother had a series of TIAs which led to dementia. She also had an untreated arrhythmia which I'm convinced was the cause of the TIAs.

What I find really interesting about this article (if I've read it right) is that people with AF who also take an anticoagulant are slightly less likely to get dementia than people with no AF who aren't on an anticoagulant. The love/hate relationship I had with my anticoagulant is starting to turn to love ❤️

Thanks for the link Kaz x

A pretty convincing argument for taking an anti-coagulant then! Like most of us here who are, let us say, 'more mature' my greatest fears are (1) a serious stroke and (2) dementia.

Thanks for posting the link, Kaz.


I was taken off apixaban 12 months after my ablation, I'll check with Sabine Ernst at my next appointment

Does this include all coagulants ? I’m on dabigatran

Kaz747 in reply to Redders

It didn’t mention any by name just ‘anticoagulants’ in general so I imagine it does.

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