June 20, 2013
Stroke Symptoms Associated With Developing Memory And Thinking Problems
People who experience any stroke symptoms–but do not have a stroke–may also be more likely to develop problems with memory and thinking, according to new research published in the June 19, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
"'Silent strokes' that cause small areas of brain damage have been tied to memory and thinking problems, but it has been difficult to study these 'silent strokes' due to the cost and inconvenience of obtaining brain MRIs," said study author Brendan J. Kelley, MD, of the University of Cincinnati and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "With this study, we found that a quick, seven-question test can be a cost-effective tool to help identify people at increased risk of developing dementia."
The study found that people who had stroke symptoms were more likely to develop memory and thinking problems. Caucasians who had stroke symptoms were twice as likely to develop cognitive problems (11 percent) as Caucasians who did not have stroke symptoms (5 percent). African-Americans who had stroke symptoms were nearly 70 percent as likely to develop thinking problems (16 percent) as African-Americans who did not have stroke symptoms (about 10 percent).
"Our study highlights the importance of discussing stroke-like symptoms with your family doctor, even if they don't last long. These symptoms can be a warning sign that a person is at increased risk of stroke or problems with thinking or memory," said Kelley.
On the Net: