Atrial fibrillation, cognition and dementia: A review

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Department of Neurology; Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Mental Disorders | Nervous System Diseases | Neurology | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms | Translational Medical Research


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common types of cardiac arrhythmia, particularly among older adults. AF confers a 5-fold risk for thromboembolic stroke as well as a 2-fold higher risk for congestive heart failure, morbidity, and mortality. Although stroke remains an important and impactful complication of AF, recent studies have shown that AF is independently associated with other neurological disorders, including cognitive impairment and dementia, even after adjusting for prior ischemic stroke. We performed a review of the published literature on the association between AF and cognitive status. Further, we reviewed studies investigating the underlying mechanisms for this association and/or reporting the impact of AF treatment on cognitive function. While most published studies demonstrate associations between AF and impaired cognition, no AF treatment has yet been associated with a reduced incidence of cognitive decline or dementia.


UMCCTS funding, Alzheimer's disease, anticoagulants, atrial fibrillation, cognitive decline, dementia, vascular dementia

DOI of Published Version



J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2017 Aug;28(8):958-965. doi: 10.1111/jce.13261. Epub 2017 Jun 21. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of cardiovascular electrophysiology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID