John Bennett, MD, practices emergency medicine in Miami, Florida. Dr. Bennett is known for his series of Google Hangouts live videos featuring experts in a variety of medical fields. To learn more, visit his website, Internetmedicine.com, “Where the Internet Meet Medicine.” His Atrial Fibrillation started at age 57.
“As a physician, I had the usual knowledge most physicians have about A Fib—which is not much. Especially the care of chronic Atrial Fibrillation. Like most people, I trusted my cardiologist to do the best thing for me.
First Cardiologist No Options But Drugs—I Hated Coumadin
My first cardiologist did the usual workup, and prescribed Coumadin. I hated that medicine. Made me feel tired, no energy, but I accepted it.
Finally, I got tired of being tired, so I started to do some online research.
I found out that you could elect to be cardioverted, which my first cardiologist did not even mention (since, of course, he would lose me as a patient, if I returned to normal sinus rhythm).
Electrocardioversion Works for 7 Years
I then went straight to an Electrophysiologist (EP), who converted me, and it lasted 7 years. Then last year…” Continue reading Dr. John Bennett’s story->
A study of brain atrophy from Iceland found that A-Fib in the elderly caused accelerated loses of brain volume and cognitive function.
This is yet another study driving a stake into the heart of the notion that you can just leave patients in A-Fib with anticoagulants and rate control drugs, and they will live happily ever after.
“It’s better for the brain to remain in sinus rhythm than to pursue rate control of A-Fib” stated Dr. David O. Arnar, speaking of the AGES-Reykjavik Study results at the 2015 Euro Society of Cardiology Annual Congress.
The AGES-Reykjavik Study
Over two thousand elderly subjects without dementia (mean age 67 years old) were tested and followed for over 5 years. Participants had brain MRIs and structured cognitive function testing during the duration of the study.
The 2,472 elderly patients fell into three groups: those who remained A-Fib-free throughout the study, those with confirmed A-Fib at the start (121), and those who developed new-onset A-Fib (132) by the end of the study.
AGES Findings: Brain Matter
At the end of the follow-up period, all participants had a reduction in brain grey matter. The amount of reduction varied significantly by group:
• A-Fib-free: 1.8% decrease
• Ongoing A-Fib: 2.79% decrease
• New-onset A-Fib: 6.5% decrease