Not All Strokes are Created Equal

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

Although physicians are fairly precise in their discourse amongst themselves, they sometimes use the term "stroke" with the lay-public to describe a wide range of occurrences in the brain. A new study published in Neurology suggests that we might all benefit from the practice of more carefully characterizing one form of stroke from another.

In a study at Columbia University, researchers looked at brain scans of 679 subjects aged 65 and older and compared those with white matter hyperintensities to those with areas of dead brain tissue. The first group had suffered what is sometimes called "mini-stroke" and were more than twice as likely to have mild cognitive impairment with memory loss compared to the latter group of stroke victims that was more likely to have mild cognitive impairment without memory loss.

The key finding was that the different events (mini-stroke vs. stroke) led to different types of cognitive problems. While mini-strokes and strokes have traditionally been considered as originating from the same source, this study suggests they might be quite different.

A better understanding and more awareness of Alzheimer's related issues can impact personal health decisions and generate significant impact across a population of aging individuals. Please use the share button below to spread this educational message as widely as possible.

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