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Heart and Brain Deterioration Could Be Connected, New Study Finds

A new study in the Netherlands found that older adults showing evidence of cognitive decline are more likely to suffer heart attack or stroke, suggesting a correlation between heart and brain function. CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta reports.

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"Older adults who score poorly on higher thinking skills like planning and problem solving are significantly more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke."

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TRANSCRIPT This transcript was generated by AudioBurst technologies

Our heart and brain function may be even more closely connected then we thought. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent. According to this new study out of the Netherlands, older adults who score poorly on higher-level thinking skills like planning and problem solving are significantly more likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke. This might reflect that damage to the vessels is a global phenomenon in our body. When we see abnormalities in one organ we should think about the other organ as well. That's according to one of the researchers. The Dutch team suggests that neurologists and cardiologists collaborate for early detection of disorders. Now it could be that people with lower decision making scores make poor decisions in their daily lives that make them more prone to heart attacks or stroke. But, regardless keep yourself mentally active by doing things like puzzles to prevent cognitive decline.