It is known that with AF, blood can enter the heart and form clots, which can later spread to the brain and lead to a stroke. According to a new study, it also increases the risk of dementia. "Disruptions in blood flow caused by atrial fibrillation can affect the brain in various ways," explains study co-author Chengxuan Qiu. According to him, when people age, the likelihood of developing AF is increased, as is the risk of developing dementia. The presence of this relationship allowed the authors of the study to suggest that the use of anticoagulants may reduce the likelihood of dementia. Scientists analyzed the data of 2685 people with an average age of 73 years. They were observed on average for 6 years. The researchers found that cognitive function, including the ability to think and remember, in participants in a study with AF, usually deteriorated faster than in people with a healthy cardiovascular system. In addition, people with AF had a 40% higher risk of developing dementia compared with healthy peers. The researchers also noticed that the risk of dementia among participants with AF who were taking anticoagulants was 60% lower compared to those who did not use these drugs. Of the 342 people who did not take anticoagulants, 22% (76 people) found dementia, while among the 128 participants who used these drugs, only 11% (14 people) developed neurodegenerative diseases. According to Censuang Qiu, if “it is assumed that there is a causal relationship between the use of anticoagulants and a reduction in the risk of dementia, 54% of cases of development of the disease can be prevented, provided that people with AF take anticoagulants.