Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. The American Stroke Association has reported stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. The impact of stroke is serious with about 795,000 Americans each year suffering a new or recurrent stroke. This means that, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. More than 137,000 people die a year from stroke. That translates into being the cause of 1 of every 18 deaths with on average, every 4 minutes someone dieing of stroke.
A new study has found that silent strokes, can also be a serious problem. Crystal Phend has reported for MedPage Today “Silent Strokes May Scatter Memory.” Researchers have found that subclinical, or silent, strokes seen on brain imaging may predict memory loss in older age. There are significant clinical implications to this finding because Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurodegenerative conditions are primarily defined by impaired memory.
The researchers have written “Brain infarcts are a largely preventable brain injury, with clearly identified risk factors, and prevention programs. A public health push toward emphasizing stroke prevention may significantly decrease incidence of dementia.” The researchers pointed out in their paper that therefore “aggressive clinical screening and neuroradiologic examination would be needed to identify individuals with and at risk for development of brain infarcts.” The researchers also noted “Although the current study did not examine individuals with dementia per se, the implication of our data is significant in that they suggest that history of brain infarcts can lead to a phenotype that is typically thought of as prodromal Alzheimer’s disease.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following steps to help prevent stroke: Eat a healthy diet which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and which is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber to help prevent high blood cholesterol. Also limit salt in your diet to help lower your blood pressure. Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week to help maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Do not smoke. Smoking increases your risk for a stroke. And limit alcohol use. Drinking too much alcohol causes high blood pressure which is a risk factor for stroke.
Mandel News Service