Preventing Strokes Also Helps Prevent Dementia

Malignant Hypertension Edema
Image by gliageek via Flickr

A recent British study that analyzed results from over 7,500 patients in a series of previous studies has revealed evidence that suggests the prevention of further strokes after a first stroke may also help to prevent dementia. Specifically the study suggests that subsequent strokes after a first stroke increase the risk of dementia and that the risk factors include factors  like  hypertension [high blood pressure], low oxygen saturation, cardiac events and seizures. You can find out more about preventing strokes from the CDC here.

But not everyone is quite so ready to support the study and in an accompanying editorial (this is a common medical journal trick when a result is considered a little controversial) a dissenting view is presented that suggests that hypertension is the only risk factor worth considering and that lowering hypertension alone will reduce the risk of dementia.

You could say, ‘who to believe’? But really, in practice, anyone in this situation would be well advised to do everything they can to reduce hypertension AND reduce the risk of a subsequent stroke – so practically speaking if they do both they are probably doing the best they can to combat dementia as well.

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