The official blog of the Lung Institute.

COPD and Memory Loss


Scientific Findings about COPD and Memory Loss

In the 1990s researchers at the Mayo Clinic studied the connection between lung function and dementia risk. Since then, more recent studies have indicated an increased risk of memory loss and dementia as a result of diminished lung function and chronic lung disease. A 15-year study published in 2011 suggested that reduced lung function increases risk for dementia. The study included nearly 11,000 people and repeated lung function tests and cognitive assessments. When all was said and done, the study confirmed that lung function has a significant impact on cognitive function.

One study, called Cognitive-pulmonary Disease, stated that

“patients with COPD may have cognitive impairment, either globally or in single cognitive domains, such as information processing, attention and concentration, memory…”

The suspected culprits are hypoxemia, a low blood oxygen level, hypercapnia (increased carbon dioxide content in the blood—a common side effect of smoking and COPD), and/or structural brain damage. The result is that white matter integrity has been lost, which also can be brought on by smoking cigarettes.

Breathe More Easily–Think More Clearly

The results of studies like these have led scientists to examine the relationship between smoking and cognitive ability, as well as the relationship between COPD and dementia. The strong correlation between COPD, cognitive ability and dementia begs the question of whether smoking cessation could not only lower the risk of developing chronic lung disease, but also decrease the chance of developing dementia. Future research may determine the relationship between maintaining good lung health and the likelihood of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Could treating chronic lung disease not only improve lung function and quality of life, but also help maintain healthy cognition?

Take Action

Lung disease is stressful enough without the added worry of associated memory loss. Every day the Lung Institute helps patients with lung disease reach their goal of having a better quality of life. To date we have treated over 1000 people using stem cell therapyContact us by calling (800) 729-3065 to speak with a patient coordinator about how stem cell therapy may be an option for you at one of our multiple clinic locations.



  1. sh

    3 months ago

    Dear Gordana,

    Thank you for contacting us. We’re sorry to hear about your mother’s fall and complications, but glad she’s doing better. Judging by the details you’ve provided, I see no reason why your mother would not be a candidate for stem cell therapy, however we suggest you get a doctor’s opinion and move forward from there. We cannot recommend a clinic outside the United States, but perhaps your mother’s physician can. We wish you the well in your search for the best care for your mother’s health.
    If a trip to the States is within the realm of possibility, please feel free to contact us at 1-855-313-1149 (US Eastern Time Zone) to speak one-on-one with a Lung Institute patient coordinator.

    Best Regards,
    The Lung Institute

  2. Gordana Vujanovic

    3 months ago

    Hi , my mother has copd – she has emphysema and had tb as a child. She is 82 years old and is getting discharged from palliative care soon after suffering a fall and fracture to her hip. The surgery resulted in some post oprative complications ie. Fluid to the lungs and possible infection but she has miraculously pulled through and is making some progress. Her memory has deteriorated since then amongst other things but she is improving otherwise. We live in Melbourne Australia and I was wondering if thin stem cell therapy is available here and if she would be a candidate for it?

  3. PB

    8 months ago

    Dear Lori,

    Thanks for your comment and question. To answer your question in more detail, it’s best to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. Our patient coordinators have a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment options, cost and candidacy, and they are happy to answer your questions and discuss options. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. Lori Bonds

    8 months ago

    My father has COPD caused by long term smoking as well as asbestosis from his time in the Navy. He is 74 and has increasingly bad short term memory loss. Could he possibly benefit from stem cell therapy?

  5. Maren Auxier

    2 years ago

    Hi Joanne,

    Stem cell therapy may help if you have emphysema. Please contact one of our patient coordinators at (855) 313-1149 and they’d be happy to go over your specific condition to help determine if you’re a candidate for stem cell therapy.



  6. Joanne Sutherland

    2 years ago

    Does the stem cell therapy help clean up your lungs damaged by emphysema?

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

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