Absent-mindedness Can Be An Early Sign Of A Silent Stroke

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Absent-mindedness Can Be An Early Sign Of A Silent Stroke
Absent-mindedness Can Be An Early Sign Of A Silent Stroke

Video: Absent-mindedness Can Be An Early Sign Of A Silent Stroke

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Absent-mindedness can be an early sign of a silent stroke

Adults who are often confused and distracted may actually suffer from early symptoms of small blood vessels in the brain, known as asymptomatic or silent strokes.

Absent-mindedness can be an early sign of a silent stroke
Absent-mindedness can be an early sign of a silent stroke

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Adults who are often confused and distracted may actually suffer from early symptoms of small blood vessels in the brain, known as asymptomatic or silent strokes.

This is evidenced by the results of a recent Canadian study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. The researchers found that people with white matter damage from a "silent stroke" reported that they had difficulty concentrating and were often distracted when performing everyday tasks. Regardless, about half of the people with identified white matter damage showed normal results on attention tests.

“Our results show that in many cases, people with an increased risk of silent stroke, as well as those who have already had it, had a marked difference in the ability to maintain attention even before symptoms were detected on a neuropsychological test. If a person experiences such difficulties, they should see a doctor, especially if they have a predisposition to heart disease,”says Ayan Dey, lead author of the study at the University of Toronto.

Lesions of the small vessels of the brain are among the most common neurological disorders associated with aging. This type of stroke and changes in the circulation of the brain are associated with the development of various types of dementia.

Such strokes are considered "dumb" because they do not cause the long-term, severe changes seen in a normal stroke. They, for example, do not affect a person's ability to speak and do not paralyze. Although there are no obvious symptoms, small vessel disease in the brain causes damage to the white matter of the brain, which over time can cause problems with memory and cognitive functions. Typically, this type of stroke is discovered incidentally on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

There are no effective treatments for Alzheimer's, the researchers said, but changes in blood vessels in the brain can be prevented or reduced by stopping smoking, starting to exercise, adopting a healthy diet, and maintaining control of blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The study looked at data from 54 people aged 55 to 80 with at least one risk factor for stroke (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea, smoking, history of minor strokes, or age over 75).

Using MRI scans of the participants' brains, the scientists then analyzed the damage to brain tissue, in particular white matter, to determine damage caused by cerebrovascular disease. The study participants then performed a series of neurocognitive tests.

In the future, the scientists intend to analyze functional brain imaging and electrical activity of the participants' brains to determine why some people do not have cognitive impairment, despite brain damage.

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