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COPD 'can lead to impaired brain function'

Elderly individuals who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are more likely to go through mental decline.

In a study of around 1,400 people, research found that thinking problems were more common in patients with the condition, but memory loss was no more severe.

Michelle Mielke, co-author of the report, said: "We found that COPD was associated with problems with attention, planning and problem-solving, but not with memory.

"This is important, because for one thing COPD is potentially preventable."

The subjects analysed were all from Minnesota in the US and were between 70 and 89 years of age, while they had not developed any mental illnesses by the time the study began in 2004.

Approximately 170 of them had COPD, most of whom were men and were either former or current smokers.

It is a condition that manifests by reducing airflow to the lungs, making it difficult to breathe, while the symptoms can be reduced by inhaling through a can of oxygen-enriched air.

Posted by James WorrallADNFCR-2960-ID-801705821-ADNFCR

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