Medication used to treat atrial fibrillation in stroke survivors could prevent the development of dementia, research published in the Neurology has found.

Experts at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, found that those who suffered atrial fibrillation after a stroke were 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, with doctors requesting more vigorous treatment to control atrial fibrillation, according to the BBC.

Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm disturbance that affects up to 500,000 people in the UK. It can be treated with blood-thinning drugs and medication, used to slow the irregular heartbeat and decrease the risk of a stroke.

Lead researcher Dr Phyo Kyaw said, “These results may help us identify potential treatments that could help delay or even prevent the onset of dementia.”