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Preventing Strokes May Also Prevent Dementia

Monday, May 8, 2017

A team of researchers from Western University in London found an unexpectedly positive side effect of Ontario’s stroke prevention strategy, which includes community supports, use of appropriate medication, and promoting a healthy lifestyle: reducing stroke incidence resulted in a decrease in dementia rates as well. The data showed that as a result of the stroke strategy, incidence of new strokes decreased by 38% while diagnoses of dementia decreased by 15% in adults aged 80 and above over a span of about 10 years. PhD candidate Joshua Cerasuolo explained that the data suggests that “by successfully fighting off the risks of stroke - with a healthy diet, exercise, a tobacco-free life and high blood-pressure medication where needed - we can also curtail the incidence of some dementias.” These findings are incredibly encouraging for Ontario and the other four provinces that have stroke prevention strategies. Researcher Vladimir Hachinski is optimistic: “It’s a good-news story for Ontario and it could be a good-news story elsewhere.” The results also highlight the need for further research in the area and the possibility of intersecting policies for the two disorders; the scientists even suggest that moving forward, all studies of stroke should include dementia. “As clinicians and researchers, we are still trying to get a handle on how to reduce a person's chances of dementia late in life,” Hachinski stated. “Some we can't influence - yet - but here is a pretty clear indication that we can take specific definitive steps to reduce our chances of dementia related to vascular disease.”

SOURCE: Medical News Today:

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Alzheimer’s Association:


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