A study conducted by the University of Exeter Medical School confirmed that people who have had a stroke are more likely to develop dementia. The study included an analysis of 3.2 million people around the world.
Researchers found that the link between stroke and dementia persisted even after taking into account other risk factors for dementia such as blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In fact, the research made it clear that trauma such as stroke could have consequences long after treatment and rehabilitation.
"We discovered that a history of stroke increases the risk of dementia by about 70%, and recent strokes have more than doubled the risk." Given the frequency of both stroke and dementia, this strong link is an important finding. stroke and post-stroke care may therefore play an important role in the prevention of dementia, "said lead researcher Ilianna Lourid in a media report.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 15 million suffer from stroke every year. Apart from that figure, 50 million people around the world suffer from dementia. The number is expected to double for almost 20 years and reach 131 million by 2050.
Stroke characteristics such as the location and extent of brain damage may help explain the variation in the risk of dementia between studies and there was some suggestion that the risk of dementia might be higher for men after stroke. Researchers claim that most people with a stroke do not continue to develop dementia. This itself indicates that stroke may be a risk factor, but it is not a definitive predictor of dementia.
"Approximately one-third of dementia cases are believed to prevent potential, although this estimate does not take into account the risk of stroke." Our findings indicate that this figure may be even higher, and reinforce the importance of protecting the blood supply to the brain when trying to reduce the global burden of dementia, "said another researcher David Llewellyn in the same media report.
The study has appeared in the Alzheimer & Dementia Journal.
Published: September 2, 2018 14:12 pm | Updated: 2 September 2018 2.30 pm