“What is interesting in our subsequent work is the patients more sensitive to poor warfarin management (low times in therapeutic range) were at the highest relative risk of dementia compared to older patients,” Dr. Bunch explained. “Now we all need to start to unravel the mechanisms behind it and find avenues of preventative treatment. The choice and manner of anticoagulant treatment is one and allowing faster heart rates is another.”
Dr. Shih-An Chen and Dr. Tzu-Fan Chao from Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, who recently reported on the independent association between AF and dementia, struck a more cautious note.
“Only when a lower risk of dementia can be achieved by AF ablation in the prospective and randomized trial can we conclude that AF is the direct cause of dementia,” they said in a joint email. “It should also be noted that the development of dementia is multifactorial, and AF only represents one of them.”