ENDICOTT (WBNG) — Research by a Binghamton University professor has shown physical ailments you feel now may be linked to cognitive problems such as dementia in the future.
This is the focus of decades of research and studies from Dr. Ken McLeod, who started in orthopedics but transitioned twenty-five years ago to understanding how our soleus muscles, a little-known body part that helps function as a ‘second heart’ by pumping blood up from your legs throughout the rest of your body.
McLeod has spent decades researching the relationship between blood flow and various conditions, both physical and mental.
Problems like varicose veins and swollen feet have long been linked to problems with blood circulation. What McLeod and others conducting similar research have found is that same poor circulation is very much linked to cognitive issues later on in life.
“We call that cognitive aging, and everybody goes yeah, over 60 moment, I forget things, you know I can’t plan, problem solve as quick as I used to, my reflexes are shot,” McLeod told 12 News Monday. “We just think of that as a natural part of aging, but that’s in fact not an intrinsic part of aging; that’s due to the fact your cardiac output is dropping.”
McLeod recommends avoiding sitting as much as possible to lower your risk of memory loss. He has also partnered with BU to create a private company that has created a device known as a HeartPartner, designed to stimulate your soleus muscles while allowing you to recline comfortably. You can find more information here.