Background: Heart Failure (HF) and cognitive impairment (CI) represent two high incident
diseases worldwide, with extremely elevated mortality and morbidity rates. Their prevalence is expected
to further increase in the next years due to the aging population, thus they pose enormous clinical, social and economic
challenges. Sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity is known to play a pivotal role in HF pathophysiology and
progression. In fact, increased cardiac and circulating catecholamine levels are responsible for several molecular and
structural abnormalities with detrimental effects on the failing heart. The proof of this latter concept is represented by the
clinical success of -Blocker therapy that is able to attenuate HF-related morbidity and mortality. Recently, adrenergic
system alterations have been implied also in the pathogenesis of CI and dementia opening the window for new fascinating
and promising therapeutic opportunities.
Objective: Assess the state of the art on the relationship between cognitive impairment and heart failure.
Method: In the present manuscript, we propose an updated review of literature and patent on the role of sympathetic
nervous system derangement in the pathogenesis of HF and CI.
Conclusion: We have discussed recent findings allowing the identification of new molecular targets that hopefully will
contribute to the generation of effective therapeutic strategies for HF and dementia.
In this article, the patents US20100048479, US7060871, WO2006052857, US7351401, US5721243, WO1994009155,
US5449604, WO1999058981, US5985581, EP2319511, EP2377534, EP2650303, WO2006004939, WO2010132128 and
EP1779858 are summarized.