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ANCHOR LEAD: Over time, blocked arteries in the heart also seem to have a negative impact on thinking ability, Elizabeth Tracey reports.

Heart lung bypass machines have been fingered as the culprit when people who’ve had traditional coronary artery bypass grafting experience compromised thinking following surgery, but now a Johns Hopkins study has exonerated the machine.  Olna Selnes, study author, says there is a loss in thinking ability, however.

SELNES: Over time, the patients with coronary artery disease have a somewhat greater decline in cognition than the ones without heart disease.   Now, this decline is not a very big decline but nonetheless its there and it is different from heart healthy controls as we call them.    :25

The decline occurs as a consequence of artery blockage, not because of bypass techniques.  Selnes says it stands to reason that blood supply to the head as well as the heart would be compromised.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

-- JHMI --

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