7 Facts about Stroke and Cognitive Impairment

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

A good source of information about risks for dementia is PreventAD.com. The site is sponsored by Medical Care Corporation but, like this blog, it is non-commercial and seeks only to educate. This content about stroke was a popular article from a past issue of Ounce of Prevention, the newsletter associated with that site.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. Each year, about 700,000 people suffer a stroke. Stroke can be a cause of dementia and cognitive impairment.

The following are 7 interesting facts about stroke and cognitive impairment.

1. Stroke is the second most common cause of cognitive impairment and dementia.

2. A thimble full of damaged brain due to stroke can cause dementia.

3. Stroke begins after age 50 and can gradually build up in the brain for decades. This gradual accumulation of tiny strokes progressively interferes with the brain’s function until the individual end’s up demented.

4. The risk of developing cognitive impairment is highest in those persons with vascular risk factors, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerotic vessel disease affecting the aorta, carotid, vertebrobasilar, or major cerebral arteries, homocysteinemia, diabetes, heart disease, hypotension, obesity, physical exercise less than two days per week and 30 minutes per session, smoking, alcohol dependence, coagulopathies, and prior stroke.

5. The most common types of cognitive deficits arising from stroke are disturbances of attention, language syntax, delayed recall and executive dysfunction affecting the ability to analyze, interpret, plan, organize, and execute complex information.

6. The risk of vascular cognitive impairment and dementia as well as the rate of cognitive decline in cerebrovascular disease is highly dependent upon the control of the underlying risk factors for stroke.

7. If left untreated, vascular cognitive impairment and dementia worsen. Annual screening for cognitive impairment in attention, memory and executive function starting at age 50 years old will help detect gradually accumulating cerebrovascular disease that may otherwise typically be undetected for many years.

1 comment :

  1. whats the prevalance of stroke under age 50?sign and symptoms