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Study finds asymptomatic heart abnormalities in Alzheimer's patients

Individuals with Alzheimer's disease who didn't have cardiovascular or systemic disease had much greater low-voltage QRS complex prevalence and reduced total QRS scores on their electrocardiographs, as well as substantially increased maximum wall and intraventricular septum thickness and a significantly greater diastolic dysfunction occurrence on their echocardiograms, compared with controls, according to an Italian study in JACC: Heart Failure. The low voltage-to-mass ratio among Alzheimer's patients may indicate an "infiltrative phenotype consistent with cardiac amyloidosis," said Dr. Matthew Maurer, co-author of an accompanying editorial, who added that "further study utilizing emerging imaging techniques, such as cardiac PET scan and technetium pyrophosphate scintigraphy" could show the presence of amyloidosis in Alzheimer's patients' hearts.

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