High blood pressure may lead to 'silent' strokes

Jul 27, 2009

"Silent" strokes, which are strokes that don't result in any noticeable symptoms but cause brain damage, are common in people over 60, and especially in those with high blood pressure, according to a study published in the July 28, 2009, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"These strokes are not truly silent, because they have been linked to memory and thinking problems and are a possible cause of a type of dementia," said study author Perminder Sachdev, MD, PhD, of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. "High is very treatable, so this may be a strong target for preventing vascular disease."

The study involved 477 people age 60 to 64 who were followed for four years. At the beginning of the study 7.8 percent of the participants had the silent lacunar infarctions, small areas of damage to the brain seen on MRI that never caused obvious symptoms. They occur when blood flow is blocked in one of the arteries leading to areas deep within the brain, such as the putamen or the thalamus. By the end of the study, an additional 1.6 percent of the participants had developed "silent" strokes.

People with high blood pressure were 60 percent more likely to have silent strokes than those with normal blood pressure. Also, people with another type of small damage called hyperintensities were nearly five times as likely to have silent strokes as those without the condition.

Source: American Academy of (news : web)

Explore further: How the brain leads us to believe we have sharp vision

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Eating fish may prevent memory loss and stroke in old age

Aug 04, 2008

Eating tuna and other types of fish may help lower the risk of cognitive decline and stroke in healthy older adults, according to a study published in the August 5, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the Am ...

Low childhood IQ linked to type of dementia

Jun 26, 2008

Children with lower IQs are more likely decades later to develop vascular dementia than children with high IQs, according to research published in the June 25, 2008, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the ...

White matter changes may predict dementia risk

Jul 13, 2009

Elderly people with no memory or thinking problems are more likely to later develop thinking problems if they have a growing amount of "brain rust," or small areas of brain damage, according to a study published in the July ...

Migraine linked to blood clots in veins

Sep 15, 2008

People with migraines may also be more likely to develop blood clots in their veins, according to a study published in the September 16, 2008, issue of Neurology the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Recommended for you

Myelin vital for learning new practical skills

Oct 16, 2014

New evidence of myelin's essential role in learning and retaining new practical skills, such as playing a musical instrument, has been uncovered by UCL research. Myelin is a fatty substance that insulates ...

Reminiscing can help, not hinder, some mind-bending tasks

Oct 16, 2014

To solve a mental puzzle, the brain's executive control network for externally focused, goal-oriented thinking must activate, while the network for internally directed thinking like daydreaming must be turned down to avoid ...

Bio-X scientists develop decoy drug to aid ailing brain

Oct 16, 2014

A team of Stanford Bio-X scientists has restored the ability of adult mice to form new connections in the brain. If the finding works in people, it has the potential to help adults recover from stroke and ...

User comments : 0