Lung function may be linked to brain functions relating to problem-solving and processing speed, according to a new study.
These two types of brain function were associated with reduced lung function; however poor lung health did not appear to be linked to memory problems or issues with stored knowledge.
The research, published in the journal Psychological Science, used data from a study of ageing in Sweden that monitored participants’ health for almost two decades.
The analysis of this data identified different patterns showing that loss of lung function can lead to cognitive losses. The researchers believe the results can offer insights into the processes of human ageing.
Although this study does not explain what a loss of pulmonary function does to the brain, the researchers speculated that reduced lung health could lower the availability of oxygen in the blood that could in turn affect chemicals that transmit signals between brain cells.