Monday, May 20, 2024

Asthma Linked to Cognitive Decline, Warn Health Experts

On World Asthma Day, health experts highlight a lesser-known aspect of the condition, emphasizing that asthma doesn’t just affect the lungs but can also disrupt brain functions, potentially leading to cognitive impairment.

Asthma, a condition affecting millions worldwide, not only impacts the respiratory system but can also significantly disrupt brain functions, experts revealed on World Asthma Day. According to specialists, asthma attacks can result in ischemic demyelination of white matter and damage brain cells by depriving the brain of oxygen. This disruption may lead to sleep disturbances and cognitive impairment, affecting both children and adults. Factors such as hypoxia, inflammation, and chronic stress due to illness may influence neurocognitive function in asthmatic patients, experts warned.

Repeated asthma attacks and poor management of the condition might lead to hippocampal volume loss, closely linked to cognitive impairment. Additionally, asthma patients may experience a cognitive burden due to a higher likelihood of intermittent cerebral hypoxia in severe cases. The lack of oxygen during asthma attacks can damage the hippocampus, making it difficult for patients to learn spatial tasks.

Furthermore, research has shown that both adults and children with asthma experience cognitive impairment. Changes in the brain’s architecture due to asthma may lead to deficits in cognitive function, increased risk of behavioral problems, disrupted sleep patterns, and potential medication side effects.

Experts emphasize the need to understand the intricate interplay between asthma and neurological function. They stress the importance of addressing both respiratory and neurological aspects of asthma care to optimize treatment strategies and promote overall well-being.

“Asthma doesn’t just affect breathing; it can have a profound impact on cognitive function as well. Understanding this link is crucial for providing comprehensive care to asthma patients,” said Praveen Gupta, Principal Director & Chief of Neurology at Fortis Hospital Gurugram.

In conclusion, health experts urge for greater awareness and comprehensive treatment strategies that consider both respiratory and neurological aspects of asthma to ensure the well-being of patients.

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