The Affects of Alzheimer's Disease on a Patient's Heart

Amyloid beta (Aβ) deposits can lead to compromised myocardial function
Amyloid beta (Aβ) deposits can lead to compromised myocardial function

HealthDay News — Amyloid beta (Aβ) deposits in Alzheimer's patients might also negatively affect their heart muscle and increase their risk of heart failure, according to a study published in the December 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Federica del Monte, MD, PhD, an associate professor with Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Cardiovascular Institute, both in Boston, and colleagues studied 22 patients with Alzheimer's who were an average age of 79. They were compared to 35 healthy people in a control group whose average age was 78. 

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Testing revealed that patients with Alzheimer's disease tended to have increased thickness in the wall of their left ventricle. The researchers noted presence of compromised myocardial function and intramyocardial deposits of Aβ in these patients.

"We found that some forms of heart failure are basically an Alzheimer's disease in the heart," del Monte told HealthDay. "They basically have the same biological defect. In one case, it affects the brain. In one case, it affects the heart." That negative effect could be due to the way Aβ affects the body's use of calcium, del Monte added.

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