Women with a common heart rhythm problem called atrial fibrillation are more likely to develop dementia, and the severity of their dementia progresses more quickly for women than it does for men, according to a new study.

One reason may be because women are at a high risk of being undiagnosed for atrial fibrillation, and may be experiencing tiny silent strokes that damage their brains a little bit at a time. Symptoms of atrial fibrillation in women are often ignored by healthcare providers or attributed to stress or anxiety so it can go undiagnosed for a long time, while men are more likely to be diagnosed and treated quickly,” said study author and Emory University associate professor of nursing Kathryn Wood, PhD, in a

Being undiagnosed means not receiving oral anticoagulant medication to prevent blood clots and strokes caused by atrial fibrillation. These women may be having clots that go to small blood vessels in their brain, causing them to lose brain function gradually and develop cognitive impairment.”

2. Free COVID-19 Vaccinations on the Way for Uninsured Adults

A new program, known as the “Bridge Access Program,” will give uninsured and underinsured adults in the US access to free COVID-19 vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced. In addition to partnering with state and local health programs, the CDC expects to work with manufacturers and certain pharmacy chains—including CVS, Walgreens, and eTrueNorth—to ensure the availability and distribution of the vaccines. “The pandemic highlighted longstanding barriers to adult vaccination, including lack of accessibility, lack of availability, and lack of confidence,” the agency wrote in a statement, noting that between 25 to 30 million people aged 18 through 64 years are currently uninsured. The initiative, which will launch this fall when COVID-19 vaccines shift to the commercial market, is a “temporary bridge” that is set to end in December 2024. A proposal to provide all recommended adult vaccinations at no cost for people without insurance has yet to be enacted.

3. Alzheimer Dementia And Sense of Smell:

People who carry a gene that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease may lose their sense of smell long before memory and thinking problems occur, a new study suggests.

This early sign of potential dementia is not seen in people who don’t carry this gene called APOE e4, researchers report July 26 in the journal Neurology.

“Testing a person’s ability to detect odors may be a useful way to predict future problems with cognition,” said researcher           Dr. Matthew GoodSmith, a resident at the University of Chicago.

“While more research is needed to confirm these findings and determine what level of smell loss would predict future risk, these results could be promising, especially in studies aiming to identify people at risk for dementia early in the disease,” GoodSmith added in a journal news release.