Mental decline may increase stroke risk
Adults over the age of 65 have been found to be more susceptible to cognitive decline, which, according to new research, may increase their risk of stroke.
While many studies have examined the effects of stroke on cognitive impairment, scientists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago decided to look at the reverse. They analyzed data on 7,217 adults ages 65 and over, who were monitored for stroke. Every three years the participants were asked to take tests that measured cognitive functions such as memory, awareness and attention.
The study's results, published in the journal Stroke, showed that the adults who had not yet had a stroke and performed relatively poorly on their cognitive tests had a 61 percent higher risk of stroke, compared with those who performed better on their tests and also had not yet had a stroke. Additionally, the adults who had had a stroke demonstrated a decline in cognitive function that was nearly twice as fast as it was before the stroke.
The researchers concluded that stroke in older adults may be caused by poor cognitive function and that stroke can also speed up cognitive decline.