Atrial fibrillation and risk of dementia: Epidemiology, mechanisms, and effect of anticoagulation

Rose Mary Ferreira Lisboa Da Silva, Cláudia Madeira Miranda, Tong Liu, Gary Tse, Leonardo Roever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the cardiovascular risk factors for dementia. Several longitudinal studies have reported an association between AF and dementia independently of stroke history. Although the mechanisms underlying this association are not fully understood, proposed mechanisms include cerebral hypoperfusion, inflammation, genetic factors, cerebral microbleeds, and recurrent silent cerebral ischemia. Oral anticoagulation can be used to minimize risk of cognitive decline and dementia, given that brain insults can be caused by chronic microemboli or microbleeds. However, controversy on the effects of warfarin and direct oral anticoagulants on this risk exists. This article will address these aspects, with data on the studies already published and a critical view on this subject.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberJAN
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Anticoagulation therapy
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cognition
  • Dementia


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