Dizzy spells linked to dementia

A new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reveals that your dizzy spells, although worrying at the time, may actually lead to dementia.

As you age, you may have noticed becoming dizzy when you stand. This is due to a temporary drop in blood pressure – known as orthostatic hypotension – and this reduced blood flow could cause damage to your brain, leading to dementia later on.

The study analysed 11,500 adults with an average age of 54, whose health was tracked over 20 years.

Those who experienced orthostatic hypotension were 40 per cent more likely to develop dementia or a 15 per cent increased risk of cognitive decline than those who didn’t, although researchers couldn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

“Even though these episodes are fleeting, they may have impacts that are long lasting,” said study leader Andreea Rawlings. “It’s a significant finding, and we need to better understand just what is happening.”

“Identifying risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia is important for understanding disease progression, and being able to identify those most at risk gives us possible strategies for prevention and intervention,” said Ms. Rawlings.

“This is one of those factors worth more investigation.”

Read the study overview

Do you experience dizzy spells? If so, maybe it’s time to see a health professional.

Related articles:
Dealing with dizziness
Dementia linked to blood sugar level
Dementia: are men seeking help?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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