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Low Levels of Sodium in Blood Might Increase Risk of Cognitive Decline

By jeremyc | February 11, 2018

Low levels of sodium in blood are associated with cognitive impairment in older men who are otherwise healthy, according to a new study.

Based on this finding, the researchers suggest dealing with low levels of sodium might help halt cognitive decline related to aging. When the levels of sodium in the blood are less than 135 millimoles per liter, the condition is medically known as hyponatremia.

Low levels of sodium or hyponatremia might be linked to greater risk of several heart problems, fractures and falls, attention deficits and even early death.

In a previous study, the researchers had warned about dangers associated with excess fluid intake while exercising. Doing so can trigger a condition known as exercise associated hyponatremia (or EAH for short).

EAH can cause mild symptoms like nausea, puffiness, and dizziness. If it is severe, it can even lead to death. Reports show that as many as 14 athletes have perished from EAH.

Previous research has also linked severe hyponatremia with cognitive and neurological problems. However, cognition in elderly is affected by different blood sodium levels is something that hasn’t been studied before. In this study the researchers decided to check this.

For their research, the experts perused data of over 5,000 healthy men who were 65 years old or over.

The researchers noted chances of experiencing cognitive impairment symptoms over time increased by 37percent when levels of sodium in the blood were 126-140 millimoles per liter, in comparison to men in whom levels of sodium were 141-142 millimoles per liter.

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