Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Slowing brain functions linked to increased risk of stroke, death

Date:
August 7, 2014
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Cognitive abilities such as memory and attention are not only important after a stroke but also before; according to researchers, declining memory and cognitive ability may increase the risk of stroke in adults over age 65. After stroke, cognitive function declined almost twice as fast. Stroke and cognitive decline increased the risk of death in older adults.

Blood flow blocked in brain.
Credit: copyright American Heart Association

Cognitive abilities such as memory and attention are not only important after a stroke but also before; according to Declining memory and cognitive ability may increase the risk of stroke in adults over age 65. After stroke, cognitive function declined almost twice as fast. Stroke and cognitive decline increased the risk of death in older adults.

Related Articles


research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Previous studies have shown poor cardiovascular health can increase the risk of cognitive impairment such as problems in memory and learning. However, the opposite idea that cognitive impairment may impact cardiovascular health, specifically stroke, was not established before.

“Most clinical studies observe cognitive impairment after a stroke event, said Kumar Rajan, Ph.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of internal medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. “Only a handful of large population-based studies measured long-term cognitive functioning before stroke and deaths from all different causes.”

Researchers analyzed data on cognitive function in 7,217 adults (61 percent African-American and 59 percent women) over the age of 65. They gave them four tests every three years that evaluated participants’ cognitive abilities such as short- and long-term memory, attention, awareness and other mental functions before and after a stroke.

Researchers found:

  • Those with lower cognitive test scores before a stroke had a 61 percent higher chance of a stroke.
  • After stroke, cognitive function declined almost twice as fast compared to those before stroke.
  • Stroke coupled with cognitive decline increased the risk of death.
  • Declining cognitive function before stroke increased the risk of stroke five-fold in African-Americans compared to European-Americans.

“Stroke in old age can be caused by poor cognitive function; whereas, faster decline in cognitive function can be caused by stroke,” Rajan said. “Low cognitive function is generally associated with poor neurological health and brain function. Worsening of neurological health can lead to several health problems with stroke being one of them.”

Examining mental health may help prevent future strokes in older adults, Rajan said.

“From a care standpoint, cognitive decline is not only a strong marker for neurological deterioration and physical health in older adults, but also serves as a marker for stroke in old age,” he said.

Researchers also found a strong link between low cognitive function and death. Participants with previous strokes had lower baseline cognitive scores on all four tests and 78 percent died during follow-ups.

“Being healthy and active through both physical and cognitive activities may help slow down cognitive decline,” Rajan said.

In the United States, stroke is a leading cause of disability and the No. 4 cause of death. A stroke occurs when blood supply is cut off from parts of the brain. The brain’s temporary blood loss can lead to serious physical and mental disabilities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kumar B. Rajan, Neelum T. Aggarwal, Robert S. Wilson, Susan A. Everson-Rose, and Denis A. Evans. Association of Cognitive Functioning, Incident Stroke, and Mortality in Older Adults. Stroke, August 2014 DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.005143

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Slowing brain functions linked to increased risk of stroke, death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807163633.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2014, August 7). Slowing brain functions linked to increased risk of stroke, death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807163633.htm
American Heart Association. "Slowing brain functions linked to increased risk of stroke, death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807163633.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins