Early-stage artery clogging slows down your brain; statins can help

Artery clogging not only causes heart attacks and strokes, but also slows down your brain, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Fortunately, you can get tested for artery clogging, even without a doctor’s order, and if your arteries are getting clogged, a statin drug can slow, stop, or even reverse the process.

Read the free book on “bad” LDL cholesterol, healthy diets, statin safety, and ultrasound artery screening, at the home page: YourArteries.net

The study’s authors evaluated participants who had early-stage plaque in their carotid arteries, which carry blood to the brain. These individuals were found to have “reduced brain metabolism” relative to participants with unclogged arteries. Areas of the brain showing reduced metabolism included areas “known to be affected in dementia.”

The authors pointed to “the need to control cardiovascular risk factors early in life in order to reduce the brain’s midlife vulnerability to future cognitive dysfunction.”

The good news for now is that if you’re middle-aged or older you can obtain, with or without a doctor’s order, a carotid artery ultrasound test to identify the presence or extent of clogging in your carotid arteries.

And if that test shows that the carotid arteries are clogged, a preventive cardiologist can prescribe statins at a dose high enough to aggressively lower your level of “bad” LDL cholesterol, which is a major component of the plaques that clog arteries. A daily statin pill at the right dose can not only protect the brain but can also stabilize the arterial plaques throughout the body, or even shrink existing plaques, lowering the chance of a heart attack or stroke.

The study, available free online, is titled “Subclinical Atherosclerosis and Brain Metabolism in Middle-Aged Individuals: The PESA Study.” Atherosclerosis is the medical term for artery clogging.

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